Officials at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish have opened a new palliative care unit.
Martha Cooper, the hospital’s site lead, says they anticipate they’ll be able to start admitting patients in the six-bed unit Tuesday.
She says they were working with nine palliative care beds, but that was in the midst of a medical/surgical unit, so a quiet atmosphere was difficult to come by.
Cooper tells The Hawk their service can be enhanced now.
“We’re in a beautiful environment, and now we have dedicated staff who have had extra education, extra training who can continue to acquire expertise,” she says. “That’s the kind of patients they’re going to look after all the time- they’re just going to become the best possible practitioners.”
Cooper says the unit is designed for optimal care for patients, but it’s also ideal for supporting family members or friends being closer to their loved ones.
She says they feel they’re able to offer patients as much as possible during an important stage of their lives.
“There’s just so much room to do whatever the family needs to do to live those end days with their loved ones in a way that’s meaningful for them,” she says. “We really don’t know what that looks like- it might be having a grandchild come in and play a musical instrument, or do a dance, or who knows?”
Cooper says they have a family room with a fully equipped kitchen, living room, quiet room and washer and dryer.
She says they also have new shower facilities, an upgraded nursing station, and a new drug dispensing system for optimal safety.
Cooper says the project wouldn’t have been possible without members of the St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation, who contributed $600,000, or members of the St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Auxiliary, who contributed $150,000 worth of furnishings and equipment,
She says the total cost of the project is roughly $850,000.
Photo credit: Nova Scotia Health Authority