In the hospice rooms at Ayre Manor, the amenities are designed to give a homey atmosphere for the end of life journey. (Tim Collins - Sooke News Mirror)

In the hospice rooms at Ayre Manor, the amenities are designed to give a homey atmosphere for the end of life journey. (Tim Collins - Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke hospice services a ‘hidden gem’

Hospice care at Ayre Manor not well known enough, say officials

When Ray Sutherland was told he didn’t have long to live, he and his wife, Marian, were at a loss for what they would do.

The couple shared a home with their son, and Ray, concerned about what the experience would do to his grandchild, was adamant he would not die at home.

But the thought of having to go into a hospice facility in Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital was also not what the couple wanted, either.

Marian knew that the two hours she’d spend in the car each day would limit the amount of time she could spend with her husband in his last days.

RELATED: Expansion has stalled

That’s when they learned about what Marian Sutherland calls a hidden gem right in her own backyard.

“They told me that there were hospice beds in Sooke, at Ayre Manor. I had no idea,” Sutherland said.

“Here was this wonderful resource right in our community, and I’d never known that it existed. We have to change that.”

Kerry Williams, director of administration at Ayre Manor, said hospice care at the manor is not as well known as he’d like.

RELATED: Hospice beds announced

He said the two-bed space, created in 2017, has an occupancy rate that hovers around 60 per cent.

“The doctors in the community know about us, as does the Sooke Hospice Society, and they do make referrals to Ayre Manor,” Williams said.

“But unless people get a referral – if they are receiving care in Victoria, for example – they might not learn that we exist.”

Hospice care at Ayre Manor includes 24/7 care by RNs and LPNs who are specially trained in end of life care. Meals are provided, each room has its own washroom and private entrance and cots are provided for family members who wish to spend the night.

“When you go into our hospice rooms, the first thing you notice is that they are not at all like hospital rooms,” Williams said. “We want people to feel at home.”

Another important component of the service is that the physical care of the person in care is all taken care of by staff.

“When you have a loved one at home at the end of their lives a lot of energy goes into care. Feeding them, helping them go to the washroom, preparing meals, and a hundred other tasks. It can be exhausting,” Williams said.

“Once in Hospice, all of that burden is taken off (of loved ones) and they can focus on just loving that person and the emotional process of passing.”

For Sutherland, the experience at Ayre Manor was akin to being adopted by a surrogate family.

“All the staff were so wonderful. They allowed Ray to keep his dignity right to the end – his dignity and his humour,” Sutherland said.

“But people need to know that the service exists here in Sooke. If it’s not used, then there’s always a chance that it’s lost and that would be terrible.”

On Wednesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that 15 new palliative care beds would be added to those that already in place at Royal Jubilee Hospital.

As well, Island Health, in partnership with Victoria Hospice, is adding eight new community hospice beds to Victoria Hospice, and seven new acute palliative beds, to create a new palliative and supportive care unit at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Kerry Williams, director of Ayre Manor, says the hospice space has an occupancy rate that hovers around 60 per cent. (Tim Collins - Sooke News Mirror)

Kerry Williams, director of Ayre Manor, says the hospice space has an occupancy rate that hovers around 60 per cent. (Tim Collins - Sooke News Mirror)

Just Posted

Saanich Coun. Susan Brice and Mayor Fred Haynes are calling on the province to develop new solutions for emergency response to mental health crises with the consideration of a potential new 911 category. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich mayor, councillor call for new solutions to mental health emergencies

Shifting response from police to trained mental health team the best option, mayor says

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District residuals treatment facility at Hartland Landfill where residual solids are turned into Class A biosolids. (Photo courtesy CRD)
Plant closure sends more biosolids to Hartland Landfill

Saanich residents are concerned they were never consulted

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

FILE – Oshawa Generals forward Anthony Cirelli, left, shoots and scores his team’s first goal against Kelowna Rockets goalie Jackson Whistle during second period action at the Memorial Cup final in Quebec City on Sunday, May 31, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
B.C. government approves plan in principle to allow WHL to resume in the province

League includes Kamloops Blazers, Kelowna Rockets, Prince George Cougars, Vancouver Giants, Victoria Royals

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic, operated by Island Health, has opened at the University of Victoria’s McKinnon Gym. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at University of Victoria

Clinic is staffed and operated by Island Health

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history in the NHL

The south coast of B.C. as capture by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. (European Space Agency)
VIDEO: Images of B.C.’s south coast from space released by European Space Agency

The satellite images focus on a variety of the region’s landmarks

A copy of the book “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” by Dr. Seuss, rests in a chair, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Walpole, Mass. Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the business that preserves and protects the author and illustrator’s legacy, announced on his birthday, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, that it would cease publication of several children’s titles including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” because of insensitive and racist imagery. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
6 Dr. Seuss books won’t be published for racist images

Books affected include McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer

The fundraising effort to purchase 40 hectares west of Cottonwood Lake announced its success this week. Photo: Submitted
Nelson society raises $400K to save regional park from logging project

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

AstraZeneca’s vaccine ready for use at the vaccination centre in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Reichel/dpa via AP
National panel advises against using Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on seniors

NACI panel said vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are preferred for seniors ‘due to suggested superior efficacy’

A public health order has extended the types of health care professionals who can give the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
‘It’s great that midwives are included’ in rollout of B.C.’s COVID vaccine plan, says college

The order will help the province staff the mass vaccination clinics planned for April

Shipping containers are seen at the Fairview Cove Container Terminal in Halifax on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Canadian economy contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Drop was largely due to shutdowns in the spring as COVID began to spread

Most Read