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Mourning doesn’t have a timeline

When Butch Gratton was admitted to Carefor Hospice Cornwall four years ago, his family was told he would likely last only a few days. “He lasted four months,” says his wife, Judy. “That’s how amazing it is here.” “He plateaued with the amount of care,” says his daughter, Kim “and from that we got four months with him we wouldn’t have had at home.”

While the philosophy of care in palliative care may shift away from healing, the client remains at its centre. “There’s a level of dignity my dad was given when he was here,” says Kim. “He didn’t just die here; he became part of the place and they showed him great respect even in his final minutes.”

When working people who are palliative the focus shifts to quality of life. Staff understand that residents and families are going through a process while at Hospice that involves coming to terms with their situation, while doing everything they can to embrace these final moments as well as possible. The meaning of simple acts like being able to go home for a day become so much more meaningful for residents and families, and when appropriate and possible, Hospice staff work with families to make these acts possible.

“One thing he really liked was the fireworks,” says Judy. “And he got to see the fireworks before he died.” “They weren’t quite sure he’d be able to go,” says Kim. “One of the nursing staff said I’m off work tonight and I’ll go to make sure you’re okay. Right there. That’s Hospice.”

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To learn more about Hospice Cornwall, click here or contact

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