Hospice Muskoka and The Andy Potts Memorial Foundation Join Forces
Andy Potts Memorial Foundation was created in memory of Ontario Provincial Police officer, Andy Potts. Andy and his partner Matt Hanes , while responding to a call where involved in a motor vehicle collision. Tragically Andy did not survive and Matt was seriously injured.
In 2006 , Matt Hanes and Andy’s father Bob Potts held an inaugural golf tournament which led to the creation of the Andy Potts Memorial Foundation . In 2011 , with the success of the golf tournament , an additional event, Andy’s Ride was created.
The focus of the Foundation is to provide financial help to those in need primarily with in the South/West Muskoka communities.
With the generous support of these communities and business partners, the Foundation in 2012 partnered with Hospice Muskoka to work towards the long time goal of a residential Hospice for South/West Muskoka.
As part of the Brock and Willa Wellness Centre, Andy’s House will be in a quiet park like setting overlooking Indian River, centrally located in the Village of Port Carling.
The Need for Care at End-of-Life is Growing:
Residential Hospices offer compassionate and cost effective care for people living with a life-ending illness who can no longer be cared for in their homes or have a preference for the care provided in a residential program setting. Until the early 2000s, hospice care was traditionally provided by volunteers while palliative care was provided in hospitals.
Currently, North Muskoka is served by a five-bed Residential Hospice through Hospice Huntsville. There is no residential program for the residents of South/West Muskoka. Several factors will affect the future availability of hospice-palliative care, create waiting lists for the five beds to the north and add significant pressure on the health care system throughout Muskoka:
- According to Statistics Canada, approximately 259,000 Canadians die each year. Although Canadians can die at any age, the average age of death in Canada is 74. North Simcoe Muskoka currently has a higher proportion of seniors than the provincial average. In 10 years time, more than 1/3 of the North Simcoe population will be over the age of 65.
- With the aging of our population, the number of Canadians dying each year will increase by 40% by 2026. Each of those deaths will affect on average, 5 other people – family and loved ones.
- In 2001, an Ipsos Reid Study revealed that given a choice, 90% of respondents wished to die at home, but in fact over 75% actually ended up going to hospital to die.
- A national survey conducted in 1997 revealed that 90% of Canadians want hospice palliative care available to them if they become terminally ill but only 6% of those Canadians feel they can adequately care for someone facing a terminal illness without outside help. Coping at home is not always possible because of limited health care resources at a community level and the subsequent cost of purchasing private support. Caregivers often try to go it alone and are at high risk of burnout and/or breakdown.
Canada continues to be a death-defying society where citizens do not see dying as an integral part of life. The fact that dying is not seen as part of living affects how health care systems allocate resources, limiting investments in hospice, palliative, bereavement and end-of-life care.
If we have less than 15% of Canadians receiving adequate hospice palliative care services today, where will they be in the year 2020 without serious changes to the health care system?
Benefits Andy’s House include:
- A warm, home-like, 24-hour cost effective setting for those who have no need or desire to be in hospital.
- Highly trained staff and volunteers in hospice palliative care provide the much needed care and begin to fill the void created by limited community care options and too few family physicians. They also will continue to support the family for up to a year ,as they process their grief and adjust to their loss.
- When a cure is no longer achievable,changing the focus to compassionate,holistic care,serving both the physical and spiritual needs of people and their families,ensuring their final stage of life is fulfilling and dignified,with pain and symptom control being a priority.
- Collaboration with other agencies,pooling resources resulting in better care.
Hospice Muskoka ~ Andy’s House , will be approximately 7-8000 sq ft . The design will reflect Muskoka style architecture and will fit nicely in the surrounding park setting.
The building will have among other features :
- 10 private rooms, 7 for palliative care and 3 for post surgical recovery and respite care
- Individual or shared washrooms for residents
- Space for private, confidential interaction
- An Inter-Denominational Chapel
- Controlled access to individuals rooms
*This Building will follow Hospice Palliative Care Ontario Guidelines. *