DISTRICT DEPUTY GRAND MATRON'S SPECIAL PROJECT



Jessica’s House, our local, residential hospice, will be a cheerful, bright, beautiful, welcoming “home away from home” for every single person who wishes to come, regardless of age, gender-identity, economic status, race or religion. Jessica’s House will open its doors wide to offer solace and comfort while abating fear. This community hospice will provide a sanctuary for those facing end of life and it will offer dignified support to their family and friends, from the time of diagnosis until their journey’s end and beyond. Trust and respect, dignity and compassion will be the hallmarks of the services provided. While respecting each individual patient’s desires, Jessica’s House will be seen as the “go to” place from the time of diagnosis to beyond allowing families to “step in” to the continuum of services at whichever point in their journey is right for them. Built by the community to serve all those in need, Jessica’s House will exemplify what is best about our human nature to demonstrate compassion, empathy and joy. Not all families will choose to access all or any of the services that Jessica’s House will provide; however, there will be comfort in knowing that “she” is there if you need “her”. In short, Jessica’s will provide people with a choice. 

Like for the young woman whose name the hospice bears, families will be extremely important. Families of every size, shape and configuration will be welcome. Family members may stay overnight with their loved one and even bring the family pet in for visits. When a patient enters the hospice, it allows their family to hand over all the intricate details associated with pain and symptom management and simply go back to being a husband or wife, a daughter or son, a sister or brother. At Jessica’s House, families will have the opportunity to spend time together in a beautiful natural setting. Watching the sun rise and set, hearing the birds sing, and seeing the blue sky, family members will connect and reconnect while being reminded of how important they are. Situated in nature, families will find peace and tranquility while spending quality time with their loved ones. 

Upon arrival at Jessica’s House, you will be greeted in the beautiful lobby by a volunteer receptionist who will answer your questions and make you feel at home. Three beautifully appointed bedrooms with ensuites, a lovely fireplace and big-windowed family room with adjoining kitchen facilities create the space families require in difficult times. Cognitive of privacy and noise (ie., accessing linens through private closets that can be entered from the bedroom and from the hallway as well without disrupting family), avoiding the “look” of a medical facility (i.e. medical equipment stored in bedroom “cupboards” to be accessed when needed but not seen), and creating a home environment will be of paramount importance. Attention to the need to blend in with nature, both architecturally and environmentally will be important priorities. Like a welcoming cottage in the woods, people will truly enjoy the comforts of this lovely place. 

Jessica’s house will represent the very best models of teamwork. From goal-setting to fund-raising, reception to gardening, cooking to repairs, bereavement support to day wellness programs, volunteers will work alongside the paid employees including cleaning staff, personal support workers, emotional-psychosocial staff support and on-call registered nurses. Of course, physician expertise will also be continuously available. Through our partnerships with the South Huron Hospital, and potentially hospice support beyond our community, we will seek economies of scale with respect to administration, governance, purchasing, and staffing. Together the team will represent what is powerful and good about working as a team.