The mornings are always the best part of my days. That’s when I go and visit each of our residents. There are times when residents will be sound asleep, or in the tub room, soaking in a warm bath with calm, relaxing music playing on the stereo in the background. But the times I enjoy the most are when I am invited to share in the stories of a resident’s life and learn more about them and their journey at Agapé Hospice.
I will never forget the morning I first met John. When I walked into his room, he greeted me with a smile that was so welcoming and kind. In that moment it was hard to believe he was nearing the end of his life. John shared with me about the difficult decision to come to Agapé. Being a strong, independent and, at times, “stubborn” man, having to rely on others for care was a foreign concept. But, he quickly reassured me that his anxiety and hesitation were already put to rest. In the two days following his arrival, John felt like he was “truly home.” John delighted in the home cooked meals, especially the desserts, and the attentiveness of every individual who came to see him. His family had peace of mind knowing he was well taken care of and he felt so at home and at peace.
It wasn’t long into his stay that John reconfigured his room to include a “reception area.” Our rooms on average are the same size as a junior office in a 10 storey building, not super large, so creating a “reception area” was no easy feat. But being able to transform his hospice room into his “home” complete with his favourite chair, a crème coloured worn leather recliner, and matching ottoman, was something that brought joy to all of us working that day. He was able to maneuver his TV into one corner of the room, his dresser into another corner, and his hospital bed was pushed against a wall which faced opposite to an east window that would brightly shine and fill the room with warmth on sunny days. The maneuvering worked out like a game of Tetris and as you opened the door to his room, you were greeted by a perfect little sitting area, with room for a bedside table, a folding chair, and of course his favourite recliner. Our morning ritual always began with John asking me to take a seat in his reception area. John would sit at the end of the bed, and I in his favorite chair brought from home. Our conversations were so varied: books, sports, the playful squirrels in the garden, and yet they always ended in the same way. John would grab a hold of my hand, look me in the eye and say, “Thank you, to all of you, for all you do, this is such a wonderful place.”
The morning before John died I went into his room to find his daughter keeping vigil in the infamous reception chair. I knew this was likely the last time I would be in John’s sacred reception space. Being minimally responsive, I was not sure whether John would know I was in the room. To my surprise he squeezed my hand as he did during our morning visits. In that moment, I had no words to express the gratitude that I felt and the privilege of knowing this man, even for only a short time.
I have many of these encounters…I feel blessed to be in a place where the people that we love and serve also fill our hearts and spirit.
– Sarah Foster, Nursing Lead
The Salvation Army Agapé Hospice is a hospice providing a palliative care program with a special attitude in a special setting for individuals and their families dealing with a terminal illness.
Maximizing our resident’s quality of life while they are facing death is the primary focus of the hospice program and team. A core of services provided by an Interdisciplinary Team* are key in meeting the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of terminally ill residents and their families. Providing a calm environment with a competent team is the foundation for meeting the needs of the total human person. Hospice includes caring for our resident, their family and one another.
*Our Interdisciplinary Team consists of our Attending Physicians, Medical Director, Nursing Lead, Registered Nurses, Resident Attendants, Social Worker, Spiritual Care Coordinator, Unit Clerks, Palliative Care Consultants, and Hospice Palliative Care Volunteers.
To book a facility tour, please call us at 403-282-6588, ext 230.
How We Do It
At Agapé Hospice, it is our privilege to care for our residents and their loved ones. We offer the following supports and services:
Supervised by the Nursing Lead, our Nursing Team consists of Registered Nurses (RNs), Resident Attendants (RAs), and Unit Clerks. We have a diverse group of nursing employees made up of both female and male caregivers. The Nursing Lead is responsible for the planning, organizing, direction, and overall management and operations of resident care.
Our Medical Director has a team of Physicians, including a Palliative Care Consultant, with experience in hospice care who oversee individual care.
Social Work plays an integral role within Agapé’s Interdisciplinary Care Team and provides support to Residents and their loved ones Monday to Friday.
We have a Salvation Army Officer who co-ordinates spiritual care, respecting all religions and philosophies. Our Spiritual Care Coordinator is available on-site from Monday to Friday.
Volunteers are essential Interdisciplinary Team members who provide the support intended to enhance, strengthen, sustain and extend the services offered at Agapé Hospice.
Our qualified cooks and dietary employees prepare the meals at Agapé Hospice. We use fresh ingredients and follow Canada’s Food Guide for dietary needs.
Housekeeping, Maintenance, and Laundry
Housekeeping and Maintenance are available seven days a week. Personal clothing items are washed and returned to residents on a regular basis.
There are a variety of ways in which you can make a difference. Agapé Hospice gratefully accepts donations from individuals, corporations, and businesses.
To donate to Agapé Hospice, you can fill out a donation form.
Different ways to give to Agapé Hospice:
For more information on making a donation, including how to make a Legacy or Estate Gift, please contact us at 403-282-6588 or [email protected]
Volunteer with Agapé Hospice
We offer a comprehensive volunteer program with over 90 dedicated volunteers who provide a variety of warm and caring support such as:
For more information, contact our Volunteer Program Coordinator at 403-282-6588, ext 230.