In October 1986, after two years of discussions, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Service was founded by a group of dedicated citizens of our town. Thanks to the local hospital, we were given space in the old Nurses’ Residence next to the hospital for a very minimal rent. Today with thanks being given to the Town of NOTL, we are located in the old Niagara on the Lake Hospital. You can find us on the ground floor.
In 1987 we had our first small group of visiting volunteers graduate from training and start helping the seriously-ill and their families in Niagara-on-the-Lake. From these young roots we have grown into an organization with up to 25 visiting volunteers and up to a 15-member volunteer Board made up of a cross-section of professionals and citizens representing most of the disciplines involved in delivering hospice palliative care locally. We have a wide variety of equipment to lend to our clients, a well-stocked library of books, CD’s and DVD’s. Paid staff consists of a full-time Program Manager and a part-time Administrative Office Assistant. We have expanded our services to offer weekly Visiting Volunteer Programs at the 3 long term care facilities in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a Phone Bereavement Program, a One-On-One Bereavement Support Service and Bereavement Support Groups. Our equipment inventory has increased, not only in quantity but in variety of equipment offered. In the beginning we were funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and, more recently, the Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN). The majority of our funding is through the Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Brant Local Health Integration Network (HNHB LHIN). However, we are so fortunate to live in a generous community. We also benefit from donations from local Service Clubs, Churches, the Shaw Foundation, and the Foster Hewitt Foundation to name a few. Our local Simpson’s Pharmasave cleans, disinfects, and maintains our equipment to ensure sanitation and safety standards. They even deliver and pick-up our lift-recliner chairs for our clients, free of charge as their donation to us.
Throughout the years we have been able to maintain our “no-charge” policy for all our services – whether it is volunteers, equipment, or bereavement supports . Everything we do is with strict confidentiality.
We remain a vibrant organization dedicated to helping the residents of Niagara-on-the-Lake and their families to cope with life-threatening illnesses through compassionate care. We are strong proponents of hospice palliative care, offering individualized care that stresses living fully until the very end of life, with dignity and in comfort. It is this approach that helps to make a very difficult life passage more manageable and more meaningful.