Sod Turned for Hospice

Sod Turned for Hospice

An important milestone was reached on Tuesday, July 28 as the sod was turned to begin construction of the new Hospice, expected to be completed in 2021.  Hospice Cape Breton is building this much-needed facility for the citizens of Cape Breton County.

“This day has been in the making for 35 years,” said Patricia Jackson, Co-chair of Hospice Cape Breton.  “We are absolutely thrilled to be able to begin construction and bring this concept closer to reality.”

The $5.6 million project will complete the circle of care for those needing end-of-life care in our community.   Along with the palliative care services provided at home and in hospital, the Hospice will provide a home-like and welcoming environment for individuals and their families.   This ten-bed facility will offer ample space for families to gather, to share meals, music or simply enjoy the abundance of nature that will surround the Hospice.

The land, which is valued at $1.2 million was provided and cleared by Membertou Development.    Chief Terry Paul said “Breaking ground on the Hospice project is the beginning of a new level of care for palliative patients in Cape Breton.   In Membertou, we are incredibly proud to be donors to the project, and home to the new facility.”

The Province of Nova Scotia is providing the annual operating costs for the Hospice, expected to be $1.75 million annually.  “The new Cape Breton Hospice will support many patients and families in the community with compassionate care and support, and will make hospice an option for people in this part of the province,” Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette, who is also the area’s Sydney-Whitney Pier MLA, said on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “This project, along with other hospices in the Halifax and Annapolis Valley areas, supports our commitment to providing Nova Scotians with more options for end of life care.”

Hospice Cape Breton has partnered with the Palliative Care Service of Nova Scotia Health for 35 years.   Together, the Society and the Service provide compassionate, end of life care for individuals in our community.   Brett MacDougall, Executive Director of Operations for the Eastern Zone said, “Since this project began, the focus has been on partnering together to benefit communities in Cape Breton County. The hospice will be a special place filled with compassion, comfort and support for patients and families who are navigating end-of-life care. Nova Scotia Health and our palliative care services are pleased to partner with the Hospice Palliative Care Society of Cape Breton County, and Membertou First Nation on this project which will provide quality palliative care for people in our communities.”

With a focus on living life fully to the end, the Society provides many additional supports for palliative care patients, including financial assistance, medical equipment not covered by provincial healthcare, bereavement and music therapy programs and training for volunteers and staff.

“We look forward to opening the doors in 2021,” said Jackson.   “We are so grateful for the incredible support we have received from the community.  We know we can continue to count on that support as we work to furnish and finish this vital project.”