The Langley Hospice Society has approval for a new stand alone hospice facility with 15 beds.
The society has been working with Fraser Health to create additional capacity to meet demand.
“Our hospice beds are pretty much at maximum,” said society president Kathy Derksen. “Increased bed capacity means that Langley residents don’t have to go to other facilities.”
Sometimes local people have to use hospice sites outside the community, which makes it harder for family to see them.
The Ministry of Health has committed to double hospice spaces across the province by 2020.
The Langley site will be planned and constructed over the coming few years. Derksen couldn’t offer a set time line as the society has specifics to iron out with Fraser Health for construction and ongoing operations.
Some other communities have free standing facilities but there’s no consistency in agreements with health authorities over funding.
Hospice facilities provide a home-like setting for people to spend their final days.
Currently the society oversees a 10 bed site in an older building on the Langley Memorial Hospital grounds.
“It’s in an aged facility which has its extreme limitations,” Derksen explained.
The new site will replace the existing facility which was intended as an interim site when it because a hospice facility several years ago.
The society, in addition to overseeing the hospice care, provides a variety of grief programs for individuals and groups, as well as support programs for children, teens, adults and families; education; advocacy; community outreach; volunteer training; and day camp and summer camp programs. Hospice society programs and services are provided free. Learn more at www.langleyhospice.com.
The society has been and will be doing more fundraising for the new site.
“This has been a longtime goal for us and we’ve been working at this for quite some time,” said Derksen.