ANDY'S HOUSE

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Andy’s House opened in October 2020 to provide palliative care in a home-like setting for residents & families of South-West Muskoka.  The dream took hold in 2012 with a generous land donation from local philanthropist Brock Napier and a partnership with the Andy Potts Memorial Foundation, who raised the build funds. Our “home” currently offers 8 palliative care rooms, with plans to open a paediatric palliative care room by the end of 2022.

Andy’s House provides specialized clinical staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Andy’s House is available to all residents of Muskoka Lakes, Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, and Georgian Bay Townships, including Wahta First Nation and Moose Deer Point First Nation and, by extension their families. 

 

We work in partnership with local health care organizations to make transitions through the healthcare system seamless.

How to Access Andy's House

Referral to Andy’s House is through Home and Community Care Palliative services, which has been initiated by your health care provider. Speak to your Case-Coordinator, your health care provider, or call Home and Community Care-Palliative Care Services

 Toll Free: 1-888-721-2222

Telephone: 705-721-8010

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At Andy’s House we have a specialized room to accommodate infants and children and are able to provide end-of-life and respite care for children.  Our clinical staff are trained in pediatric palliative care delivery and have access to Sick Kids Hospital palliative care physicians 24/7 to provide guidance as needed. Referrals for all services can be made by individuals, caregivers or health system partners.

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Provincial Constable Andrew J. Potts was a proud member of the Ontario Provincial Police.  Andy had served the people of Ontario for seven-and-a-half years, initially serving at the Pickle Lake Detachment in 1998.  While in Pickle Lake Andy received the Commissioner's Citation for life saving.  Andy returned home to Muskoka in 1998.

On 20 July, 2005 Constable Potts and his partner Constable Matt Hanes responded to a call for service while serving the people of Muskoka.  While enroute to this call the officers were involved in a motor vehicle collision.  Constable Potts did not survive and his partner was seriously injured.

In 2012 the Andy Potts Memorial Foundation came up with the idea of “Andy’s House”, a palliative care Hospice as a legacy to Andy. The foundation partnered with Hospice Muskoka and a Memorandum of Understanding was created to raise 2.5 million dollars to build Andy’s House.

In the end over 3.5 million dollars was raised and the 9000 square foot facility was completed with 10 rooms. Andy’s House has been open since 1 October 2020 and we couldn’t be happier.

-Matt Hanes
On behalf of the Andy Potts Foundation Committee

Andy's House Support Services

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Palliative Options

END OF LIFE CARE

End-of-life care is given to people who are nearing the end of their life or who have stopped treatment to cure or control their disease.  It involves developing a treatment plan that addresses the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual support needs of patients and their families. 

 

The goal of end-of-life care is to make individuals as comfortable as possible through quality care and effective pain management strategies, while honouring the end-of-life care choices they have made.

Hospice Muskoka abides by provincial regulations & logistics - as all health care agencies with accreditation do - and adheres to the standards of care defined by HPCO.

MAID

Death and dying can be difficult subjects to think and talk about.  Making a decision about Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) can be equally challenging and you may need help at many points along the way.  It’s important to talk to someone who can help inform you about your options – a doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care provider. Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) is a federally approved procedure in which a patient is given medication to intentionally and safely end their life.

To consider a form request for MAID you will need to speak with your doctor or nurse practitioner.  A care coordination service is available to clinicians, patients and caregivers looking for information and help to facilitate access to MAID.

Hospice Muskoka abides by provincial regulations & logistics - as all health care agencies with accreditation do - and adheres to the standards of care defined by HPCO.

RESPITE CARE

Our goal is to add 5 respite beds at Andy’s House in the coming months.

Respite care is designed to give at-home caregivers an opportunity to rest and recover from the demands of providing daily in-home care. It offers a break from the responsibilities of looking after your loved one full time so you can attend to everyday activities, visit when you choose, or just relax.

Andy’s House will offer short-term stays for clients of up to 2 weeks, free of charge.

Respite clients will receive the same care and support services as hospice clients including access to a private room, meals, laundry, social activities and medical attention.

Dispelling the Myths

A few of the myths that we hear when we talk with clients and their families:


“Receiving hospice palliative care means you (or your doctor) have given up hope and you’ll die soon”
“Hospice care is just for seniors”

“Hospice care is the same for everyone and only available at the end of life”
“Palliative care hastens death”
“Pain is a part of dying”
“I’ve let my family member down because he/she didn’t die at home”

The truth is that hospice support is most effective when accessed soon after a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness has been received.

 

If you’ve received a life-limiting diagnosis or are approaching the natural end of your life, the goal of hospice care is to focus on what you and your family need and want at any given time, prior to death and during bereavement.  Palliative care includes managing pain and symptoms but offers so much more….helps with understanding the ins and outs of your treatment, provides support through in-home visiting volunteers, gives access to much needed respite care for caregivers, provides access to spiritual care and to grief and bereavement support.  Together we create a plan for a dignified end-of-life experience.

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“Writing one’s legacy is a privilege that nurtures and inspires future generations”

- Mary Ann Beaudin,

Hospice Muskoka Volunteer

A legacy is about creating meaning in one’s life and death.  How we live until we die speaks volumes about our life and goes beyond material objects. Exploring what made a difference in our lives is a powerful experience.  Creating connections with those we love and keeping those stories alive is a priceless gift we can leave our loved ones.

 

Using a program called VoiStory, Hospice Muskoka’s  “Stories of the Heart” volunteers work with our clients to capture their memories and stories, share and preserve their values and wisdom in a confidential secure way.  The sharing of their final “Stories of the Heart” is at the discretion of our clients.  Over time, we have found that these stories and insights help families with their loss, grief and bereavement and are often used to help create eulogies and memorials.