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Kelowna hospice celebrates 10 years

The facility was built 10 years ago after the KGH Foundation led an ambitious fundraising campaign

For 10 years, the Hospice House on Ethel Street in Kelowna has provided compassionate care to those in the final stages of life and their loved ones. People like Jean-Margaret Seabrook, who passed away in hospice last fall, according to an Interior Health news release.

“My mom spent her final days at Central Okanagan Hospice House. We cannot say enough good things about the care she and our entire family received during this difficult time and it is a memory we will hold with us forever,” said Peggy Collie. “She received the best of care, and everybody was friendly and comforting. It is heartwarming to know she felt as comfortable as possible and so did our family – all the way down to my mom’s great-grandchildren when they were visiting.”

The cozy 24-bedroom house sits alongside Mill Creek, and extensive gardens brighten residents’ and visitors’ days. But the heart and soul of the Hospice House is really in the people who work there.

“When the time comes for a loved one to enter hospice care, it can be a very stressful and emotional time, as family and friends prepare for the final life journey of someone close,” said Minister of Health Adrian Dix. “I thank the health-care workers at Central Okanagan Hospice House for a decade of providing care and compassion to people in their time of need.”

RELATED: More than $270,000 raised for Kelowna-based hospice

“Staff, physicians and volunteers at the Central Okanagan Hospice House provide heart-felt care and comfort to individuals in the last days of their lives,” says Interior Health Board Chair Doug Cochrane. “Congratulations to everyone involved in the Hospice House as it marks its 10-year anniversary.”

The facility was built 10 years ago after the KGH Foundation led an ambitious fundraising campaign in the community. The $10-million project received support from several key partners including the Central Okanagan Hospice Association, BC Cancer Foundation (Southern Interior), the Central Okanagan Regional Hospital District and Interior Health, the release said.

The Hospice House was built on Ethel Street near Springfield Road on what was the old Bennett homestead property. In fact, the Bennett family would become generous supporters of the campaign to build a free-standing hospice house when Brad Bennett was Chair of the KGH Foundation, and his wife Birgit was volunteering at the Central Okanagan Hospice Association.

RELATED: North Okanagan paddleboarder takes on lake for hospice

“We have both had loved ones reach the end of life and recognized the need for hospice,” Bennett said. “There is no question that hospice offers an incredibly caring, peaceful environment for all involved.”

Hospice palliative care focuses on improving quality of life and alleviating suffering, and is most often provided in people’s homes as well as in free-standing hospice houses, long-term care facilities, and hospitals. To learn more about palliative care in Interior Health, visit the Palliative and End-of-Life Care page under Your Health at www.interiorhealth.ca.


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