March 23rd, 2020
A message from Dena Maule, C.E.O. Hospice Toronto
To our Community Partners,
As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, we are monitoring the situation closely. We know that our community is concerned, and we share your concerns. We want you to know that ensuring the health and safety of our patients, families, volunteers and staff is paramount.
We may all be experiencing the onset of the COVID-19 virus and its evolution in different ways but we have one thing in common; the desire to know as much as we can to enable us to protect ourselves and the people we care about. Information is coming to us on many levels and from sources that may or may not contain reliable information.
To ensure the health and safety of our clients, families, staff and volunteers, we are committed to keeping you informed and are closely monitoring information from Health Canada, the Ministry of Health our local Public Health Unit and federal authorities.
This is a quickly evolving situation and we will do our utmost to keep you informed here on our website. Please check back here often for any new information on the impact to our services and for new links to reliable information resources.
Thank you to each of you for your support and understanding during these challenging times.
Following are links to trusted information resources:
What this means for Hospice Services, to date:
Our offices are closed, and we are working remotely
From Monday March 16th, 2020 until further notice, Hospice Toronto Toronto’s offices are closed, and our team is working remotely. We are doing this to reinforce social distancing and help flatten the curve of COVID-19 infection in Toronto and protect vulnerable populations.
The team is meeting daily through phone and video chat platforms to ensure communication and support for our clients and volunteers is maintained.
Our Care in the Community
For our clients in the community, we are implementing extra safety precautions and are also supporting the goal of flattening the curve of the COVID-19 impact for the healthcare system and resources.
Effective March 18th and until further notice:
- In home visits by volunteers and staff will be shifted to a phone check in or virtual visit format.
- Clients who have advanced illness and are at higher risk will, where possible, will have access to volunteers for basic needs support.
Affected Events and Group Gatherings
Expressive Arts Groups: Our onsite groups are postponed until further notice. We are planning to be able to offer virtual expressive arts programming and will notify our clients as soon as this is available and provide a schedule.
Day Programs Wellspring: Our day program will be moved to telephone and online resiliency-based programming will allow for the supportive connection to be maintained during COVID-19.
Info Sessions for Volunteering: As we move forward, we will review moving our Info Sessions online.
Volunteer Training Sessions: We have postponed the current sessions. If you are enrolled in this, you will receive a message from our volunteer department.
Young Carers Program
We have moved all of our programming for the Young Cares Program online and are midway through offering an online March break camp that will continue daily until all students are back in school.
Journey Home Hospice
The Ministry has restricted visiting in residential hospices but has not cancelled volunteers or essential family member visiting. We understand that during this uncertain time, volunteers may feel uneasy reporting for shifts and are asking volunteers to assess their own health status and we will provide updates as protocols change.
What it means to “Flatten the Curve”
The term ”flatten the curve” is a phrase used by public health experts and has become a global goal to help reduce the impact of COVID-19.
The curve represents the number of people infected by COVID-19 and a steeper curve means a higher rate of infection. By our behavior and actions we can influence the slope of the curve and by following the advice of Public Health Officials and maintaining social distancing we can each help to reduce the slope of the curve (i.e. flatten it).
A steeper sloped curve equates to a shorter but more severe “peak” of infections. By flattening the curve, the peak of the infections can be prolonged and the danger of the number of infections during the peak overwhelming the Health System is reduced. By flattening the curve hospitals have less patients to serve and therefore more resources available to be better able to treat the patients most in need.
The previous links on this page provide further information about “Flattening the Curve” and how to help. At Hospice Toronto, we have closed our office to help with this, we are avoiding large crowds and practicing social distancing.
Hospice Toronto is very grateful for your continued financial support. We rely on our community to maintain all of our services to our clients and their families, and this need continues. Your ongoing support is now, as always appreciated beyond measure.
At this time, the best way for you to make a donation is with your credit card through our online donation form and your tax receipt will be emailed to you immediately. If you cannot donate online, the next best way would be to call (416) 364-1666 and make a donation over the phone with a credit card.
If you prefer to make a donation with cash or cheque, we ask that the donation be mailed to Hospice Toronto Suite 502 – 55 Eglinton Avenue East M4P 1G8.
If you have questions regarding the handling of donations during this time, please contact Kathryn Adamo at email@example.com