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(Posted 7:30 a.m., Nov. 6)
Latest OutCare Foundation initiative seeks to bring comfort to palliative care patients

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The May Court Hospice in Ottawa is one of several hospices in Eastern Ontario that will benefit from the OutCare Foundation;s latest fundraising initiative. File photo

The OutCare Foundation has launched a new fundraising initiative aimed at providing greater care and comfort for palliative care patients in Ottawa and the surrounding area.

The "Campaign for Comfort" is the result of consultations between the Foundation and hospices throughout the region including the May Court Hospice, the Mission Hospice and Roger's House.

The goal of the campaign, according to OutCare Foundation president and Navan resident John Bradley, is to raise $100,000 to purchase equipment and furnishings including 11 comfort mattress systems, three patient lifts and slings, a wireless resident nurse alert system, four bedside recliners for family members along with walkers, transport chairs and shower benches.

A portion of the funds will also be used to purchase medical devices to help monitor oxygen saturation and heart rate, and other comfort items such as blanket warmers and gel cushions.

With seniors making up the fastest growing age group in our society, the need for palliative care is becoming urgent. More and more families are turning to community-based hospices for the exceptional service they offer in a homelike setting.

The increased demand places tremendous pressure on hospices in our region. As a result, most hospices are unable to buy key items that can maximize quality of life.

“Local hospices depend on fundraising to help make ends meet,” explains Bradley. "They simply cannot afford to purchase all the equipment required to
meet the needs of palliative patients at different stages of care, which is where we come in with initiatives like the 'Campaign for Comfort'.”

To feel comfortable and cared-for, adults and children with a life limiting illness often need special equipment. The right equipment promotes
comfort, mobility and sleep. It also helps staff to provide treatment safely and effectively. Transport chairs and lifts, for example, allow patients to participate in activities. Therapy mattresses and blanket warmers provide relief to people with limited mobility. Sleep chairs invite family members to stay overnight with their loved ones.

The OutCare Foundation is the only charity devoted to raising funds for palliative care across Eastern Ontario and supports the efforts
of the Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program to build a regional
system for palliative care.

Donations for the Campaign for Comfort and other OutCare Foundation initiatives can be made online at https://www.canadahelps.org/dn/14297.

The Campaign for Comfort is just the latest initiative taken on by the OutCare Foundation which has raised over $1.5 million for new programs and services, including funding for the recently launched Telelink program which brought telemedicine to palliative-care sites serving more than 6,000 patients.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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