What is the Diane Morrison Hospice?

No one in our community deserves to die alone. The Diane Morrison Hospice at The Ottawa Mission provides 24-hour palliative nursing care to people facing the final days of their lives. Through a partnership with Ottawa Inner City Health, nurses and client-care workers as well as other healthcare professionals, we offer Hospice patients crucial physical, emotional, and spiritual support at every stage of their illness. Since 2001, we have been a recognized leader in Hospice compassionate care for the homeless.

Who is eligible for admission at the Diane Morrison Hospice?
  • People who are homeless or street involved and living with a rapidly-progressing terminal illness;
  • People who need assistance in managing pain or symptoms associated with a terminal or serious chronic illness; and
  • People with a terminal illness who are unable to access ‘mainstream’ palliative care due to behaviour or lifestyle.

The Ottawa Mission provides all aspects of housing, transportation, and spiritual care, and works with several partner agencies to meet the needs of our patients. These include: Ottawa Inner City Health, which provides a team of palliative medical staff; Carefor, who offers trained staff for our clients’ personal care, the Champlain LHIN, which provides physiotherapists and occupational therapists; and the Mobile Pain and Symptom Management Team from the Elizabeth Bruyère Health Centre, who consult with our patients and provide their expertise in assisting with complex symptoms of pain and illness.

In addition to providing essential support to patients at this most sensitive time in their illness, by providing an alternative to hospital care, it’s estimated our hospice saves the hospital system an estimated $50,000 per person.

We welcome our patients’ biological, adoptive, and street families and friends to help provide care, along with our dedicated volunteers. Their roles may include reading to individuals, assisting them with a meal, playing games or cards, and taking someone out for a walk.

When someone dies in our Hospice, a memorial service is often held to provide a chance for friends, family, and staff to mourn. If no family members are found or involved, the patient is buried at The Ottawa Mission plot at Beechwood Cemetery.

At the Diane Morrison Hospice, we do more than simply provide end-of-life care. We strengthen our community and bring meaning and dignity to people who may be otherwise forgotten.


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