May 04, 2023

Dying with Dignity: What it means to provide care at our Diane Morrison Hospice

Sue is a registered practical nurse, who through Ottawa Inner City Health, has worked at our Diane Morrison Hospice since 2014. Early in her career, she found work at palliative care facilities and hospices, and quickly realised it was her calling. 

Nursing at the hospice differs from typical nursing. Monitoring the clients well-being goes beyond administering medicine and tracking their health. “Here, you’re dealing with the whole person: mind, body, and soul.” says Sue. 

As the first shelter-affiliated hospice in North America, there are 20 beds available for under-served chronically or terminally ill homeless and at-risk members of our community. Our clients may not qualify nor be suited for other palliative and hospice care due to mental health issues, addiction, lack of family support, poverty, and more. 

Because of their debilitating illnesses, clients can feel worn down or even defeated when they come through our doors. Sue and the rest of our hospice staff do incredible work to lift spirits and offer comfort.

“Part of our end-of-life care is connecting families back together. People need closure” states Sue. Hospice staff will help our clients track down family. In many cases, they’ll help write letters to loved ones to reconnect and mend relationships that were damaged over the course of challenging lives. Inevitably, clients grow to view each other and our staff as extended family. 

Despite the obvious challenges of working in a hospice, Sue deeply values her work. “I’m satisfied when I feel like I’ve done everything for them. When they pass, I feel that they’ve gone on to a better place, a place without pain and suffering, and that’s what’s important to me.”

Your kind support provides a peaceful and dignified passing for our clients. On behalf of those who turn to us for help, thank you.