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Stettler Hospice Suite: "Hospice is Home"


Stettler Hospice Suite
Susan Haustein and Wilson. Photo by Stettler Local

StettlerLocal.com August 5, 2023 at 7:37 am


Susan Haustein is someone you'd want on your side when it comes to end of life care.


Haustein, Service Coordinator of Stettler Hospice Society, says her role is helping people through their end of life journey.


"We're here to support the family," she says, "not give advice. We ask them, 'What do you need from us?'"

barrier-free shower
Barrier-free shower. Photo by Stettler Local

On a recent tour of the hospice suite, located in Points West Living, Haustein points out the amenities of the suite, including a full kitchen, a barrier-free washroom, and a second bedroom for family members. Pets are welcome, too.


"Stettler hospice is unique to Alberta Hospice and Palliative care insomuch as it is a home where all the family can live together," says Board President Maureen Drummond.


Drummond says the hospice, which opened in 2020, was "the dream child" of Nancy and Felicity Bauman, who garnered community support for the suite.

Stettler Hospice living room
Living room. Photo by Stettler Local

"These two ladies brought interested members of the public together for the sole purpose of opening an Hospice in Stettler," says Drummond, "to allow patients who were nearing end of life – and their families – another option of where they would like to spend their last days."


A visitor to the suite is immediately struck by how welcoming and practical it is.


"It's not a hospital," says Haustein. "It's not white with nurses and equipment. It's homey and comfortable. We encourage family to stay here."


Comfort is a big part of the Hospice philosophy, and Haustein describes the process of admitting a resident to the suite.


Home care nurses first assess the situation to determine if a person near the end of their life, while also determining their healthcare needs. The person is then admitted to hospice, a process that takes 48-72 hours.


A Hospice stay is three months.

Quilts
Blankets donated by the Heartland Quilters Guild, which are given to family members. Photo by Stettler Local

Once the suite is occupied, Points West provides three meals a day for the patient, along with a weekly cleaning, garbage removal, and if necessary, any minor maintenance repairs. These services are free of charge.


"The family doesn't pay anything," says Haustein. "Our services are covered by donations."


Drummond says the Hospice has raised money by running 50/50 draws, tending bars, canvassing service clubs, and holding a gala, along with the annual Hike for Hospice at West Stettler Park.


There is also a Memory Tree that hangs on the wall outside the suite with the names of donors.

Memory Tree
Memory Tree. Photo by Stettler Local

Volunteers donate their time, too. The Hospice offers a Sitting program, where a trained volunteer will sit with a family member if they don't want to be alone. There are other times a family member may want to run errands or take a break, and the volunteer will sit with the resident.


"We currently have seven volunteers," says Haustein, "They are available 24-7, and each shift is no more than four hours."


The Hospice is also working on a new program where a volunteer sits with a person and/or their family in their home. There are also plans for a family support group in the near future.


The Hospice accepts donations at any time. A person can leave an envelope with a donation at the front desk of Points West.


If you have a family member that may need Hospice care, call Home Care at 403-742-4662.


Stettler Local Editor










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