Since opening our doors in 2013, Emily’s House children’s hospice has supported an average of 350-400 admissions per year prior to and post COVID. Emily’s House has welcomed thousands of patient admissions and visitors – children, child siblings and families. Currently in our tenth year of operation, as Toronto’s first paediatric hospice, and supporting increasingly complex care needs of clients, our medical equipment is aging and subject to 24/7, high-use wear-and-tear. Medical equipment designed for this level of critical care is ideally replaced every six-to-ten years, to ensure optimal performance in supporting end-of-life care for medically-fragile children, as well as for safety and quality assurance purposes. Typically, government funding for our children’s hospice is designated to nursing, PSW, and clinical care staffing, and is not available for our hospice facilities, building maintenance, or infrastructure.
As we celebrate 10 years of operation, it is now advisable to replace eight hospital beds, for optimal client care.
To date, Emily’s House 10-Year Anniversary Hospital Bed Replacement for Children’s Hospice funding has been raised to replace six of the eight hospital beds that are prioritized for replacement this year. The first two beds were purchased, with thanks to the Mike and Carol Mueller Family Foundation. Thank you, also, to The Anglican Foundation of Canada for funding for one bed; and, to the Balsam Foundation, who pledged funding for three beds at our 30/10 Gala in June 2023.
Now, the need is for funding for two remaining beds. The cost estimate of $15,000 per bed, includes a new bed, replacement split rails, bed rail bumper pads for split rails, installation fees, and removal/ disposal of existing beds. No administrative, operational fees or overhead have been included in the project budget. As funds continue to be secured, the remaining beds will be installed. Ideally, this will be completed before December 2023.
Hospital beds, obviously, are a place of vital medical care, rest and rejuvenation. In a paediatric hospice care setting, they can also be the location of: music / art therapy; therapy dog visits; cuddles with mom and dad while a qualified medical team is accessible down the hall; playing video games on a computer tablet; colourful fingernail and toenail manicure/pedicure spa fun for kids; visits from magicians and Paralympic athletes; and, occasionally, for unicorn tea parties. In a hospice care setting, an available hospital bed presents access to essential 24/7 advanced palliative medical care, as well as access to exceptional, life-giving care, for the moments available to these children and their families.
Letter of Support: from Bruno and Marlene Geremia, Matthew’s Parents
Emily’s House 10-Year Anniversary Hospital Bed Replacement for Children’s Hospice
We are writing this letter to support the need for quality medical hospital beds for Emily’s House Children’s Hospice. Quality assured medical hospital beds are critical for the needs of children accessing care at a children’s hospice. Rest and rejuvenation are essential for everyone’s wellbeing and especially for those children in a hospice setting where the importance of 24/7 advanced palliative medical care is absolutely necessary.
A proper hospital bed can provide appropriate medical care, comfort and safety. Apart from allowing vital medical care, these beds can offer a place for families to spend quality time with their loved ones.
Our son was a patient at Emily’s House for over seven months receiving end of life care. Sitting upright in a well-supported chair was a challenge and was only possible for a very short period of time – 15 minutes at most. Consequently, he would have to spend the rest of the day lying in bed where the excellent care and support he required was provided. This was also where we, as a family, would spend most of our precious time with him watching TV together, playing games, reading, listening to music, creating special memory crafts, finger painting, massage therapy or cuddling. This was our way of making wonderful memories together that we cherish.
We feel that a quality hospital bed is an essential piece of the excellent care that Emily’s House provides and contributes to a positive experience for its clients and families at an extremely difficult time in their lives.
Note: 2023 is a “Time to Celebrate” 30/10 – thirty years of the Philip Aziz Centre for a Hospice Care (PAC), and ten years of Emily’s House children’s hospice. We hope you enjoy the varied historic stories, articles and videos being published on our website to mark this milestone occasion.