The Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce


Scott Lovell Seated Beside Chapman House Drawing

Our community hospice is a centre of excellence with a multidisciplinary team, providing compassionate, dignified, patient-centered care to individuals with a progressive life-limiting illness, empowering them to live well while dying.

The Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce offers an alternative for residents of Grey and Bruce Counties who do not wish to die at home or in the hospital. The community-run hospice cares for patients and their families who are dealing with a terminal illness, providing comfort, support and pain management. Patients are able to die with dignity, in a home-like setting.

The residential hospice has six light-filled suites in a private wing at Season's Retirement Community in Owen Sound. The palliative care team includes nurses, personal support workers, occupational therapists, religious and spiritual counselors and volunteers who provide a range of medical and support services around the clock.

The hospice has fewer restrictions than an institutional setting. Family members are encouraged to visit with their loved ones at any time and to participate in their end-of-life care. The patient rooms include comfortable living spaces for family members to stay day or night. There are no set visiting hours so that family members can come and go as they please.

The hospice is available free of charge to patients or their families. Referrals are made through the South West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC).

Patient Care

The roles and responsibilties for patient care are described below.

The Manager of Residential Services is responsible for providing direction and leadership in patient care. She leads a team of Registered Nurses and Personal Support Workers to ensure that all aspects of a patient's goals and care plan are delivered professionally and compassionately. She also works closely with the South West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and other health care providers to coordinate patient and family services so that patients have support beyond pain and symptom management, in ways that contribute to their overall comfort and well-being.

Since May 29th, this position has facilitated the admission of nearly 300 patients to the Residential Hospice. She has had the opportunity to visit these patients and their families in their homes or in the hospital. In learning about people before their arrival, and understanding their unique needs and wishes, we are better able to provide care specific to every patient and family.

Our RNs assess, plan, implement and evaluate bedside nursing care. As part of an interdisciplinary team, they provide a lead function in the direction and supervision of the care that patients receive. They work closely with physicians and other care providers to ensure that the plan of care meets the needs of each patient.

Their skill and contribution has become increasingly important as our hospice has begun to admit more patients, operating consistently at or near capacity. They are responsible for understanding the different types of progressive life-limiting illness that our patients may be experiencing when they arrive at the hospice. Understanding each patient's illness helps us better manage their pain and symptoms. Whether it is cancer, a heart problem or pulmonary disease, our RNs are able to provide comfort to patients in their last days.

Our RNs are trained in the Fundamentals of Palliative Care and are supported when updating their Comprehensive Advanced Palliative Care Education.

Our PSWs play an incredibly valuable and important role in caring for our patients. They consider the types of activities that are a part of our daily life and ensure our patients are able to enjoy things that bring them pleasure and comfort. They contribute to the dignity of our patients by assisting in their personal care. Our PSWs provide patients with personal hygiene support, assist with feeding, dress patients according to their needs and provide a range of other services that have a direct impact on a complete care plan.

Our PSWs play a hands-on role in residential hospice care. They are a key element of a care plan that takes into account the overall well-being of each patient.

Our PSWs are trained in the Fundamentals of Palliative Care and have a minimum of five years' experience working with individuals and their families in end-of-life care.


The hospice has partnerships with various organizations in the community.

Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) for Canada has been serving the residents of Grey and Bruce counties since 1937. VON Grey-Bruce is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides services in the community to enable people to remain in their homes with the care and support to maintain their independence and healthy living. Services offered at VON Grey-Bruce include Nursing, Nurse Practitioners, Flu and Wellness programs, Supports for Daily Living, SMART and Falls Prevention Exercise Classes and Supportive Care Services that include hospice, caregiver support, bereavement and music care.

The South West CCAC gets people the care they need to stay well, heal at home and stay safely in their homes longer. When home is no longer an option, we help people make the transition to other living arrangements.

CCAC care coordinators are nurses, social workers and other dedicated professionals. Through personal visits and regular check-ins, we help determine the right care and support for our patients. This may include in-home nursing and personal support, visit to CCAC community clinics, and connections to community organizations.

We work hand-in-hand with the people we care for to build trusting relationships, understand the challenges they face, and co-create solutions.

In keeping with the Excellent Care for All strategy, the South West CCAC works collaboratively with partners and stakeholders to coordinate seamless transitions in the palliative client's experience at multiple points within and across different care settings.

The chaplaincy council provides visiting chaplains to look after the spiritual needs of patients, family and staff. They co-ordinate the placement of local chaplains in hospitals, and our residential hospice, in order to maintain a continuity of care.

Board of Directors

The Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce is a community-operated hospice. This means it is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who oversee its function and create a Strategic Plan for the organization to implement. This local stewardship ensures that the Hospice is operated in a manner consistent with community expectations. They are accessible and accountable to you.

The Membership is designed to reflect and represent the interests of patients and families throughout our region. It is comprised of professional and geographic representation to ensure that both the operation of the Hospice and the connection to communities throughout Grey and Bruce is sustained. A range of backgrounds and expertise help keep the Board focused on advancing its strategic goals:

  • Implement a true board governance framework to ensure appropriate compliance and clarity of roles throughout the organization
  • Develop and implement a formalized fundraising strategy that secures capital required for permanent site, and ensures long-term financial stability
  • Re-locate from temporary premises to a new permanent facility no later than spring 2017
  • Continue to provide excellent palliative patient care in Grey and Bruce counties through Residential Programs, as well as leadership in establishing a Secondary Level Outreach Team and participation in Wellness Programs.

The current board members are listed below.

  • Rob Cordell, Chair
  • Mary Anne Bishop, Secretary
  • Maureen Kemp, Treasurer
  • Dr. Bruce Stanners, Member
  • Dr. Hilli Huff, Member
  • Dr. Susan Batten, Member
  • Joan Tod, Member
  • Reverend Graham Bland, Member
  • Vivian Wade, Member
  • Alex Hector, Member
  • Paul Rowcliffe, Member

During a meeting of our Volunteer Board on June 18, 2013, our Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 was approved and adopted. The Plan is a reflection of our commitment to the communities of Grey and Bruce to continue our role in improving end-of-life care for our loved ones. It establishes our priorities and direction in the years ahead and holds us to a higher level of accountability to the patients and population we serve.

Since admitting our first patient on May 29, 2013 the focus of the Board was to ensure our operation was supported and to provide the exceptional care deserved by those who came to us in their journey. We have every confidence that we are meeting the high standard we set for ourselves.

The focus of our Board will transition from being engaged in operation of the hospice towards a true governance model. The day-to-day function of the hospice will be the focus of our Executive Director, Manager of Resident Care and a team of skilled Registered Nurses, Personal Support Workers and volunteers. As a Board, we will set the strategic direction for our future.

Because the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce relies so much on the support of the community to be sustainable, we feel a heightened sense of accountability toward donors, patients and their families, and all residents of Grey and Bruce. As a part of this relationship, we are proud to provide our Strategic Plan as part of our commitment to transparency. We invite you to review the document and learn more about how your hospice will be moving forward in the future.

Executive Director

Scott Lovell Photo Scott Lovell – In 2013, the Board of the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce was excited to launch a website that described our vision and goals for a residential hospice that would proudly serve our community.

Many of the details on that site described an integrated model of care that would see the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in palliative care for the region, coordinating end-of-life services to patients and families in partnership with other providers.

That site was a small part of a campaign by a volunteer Board that centred around a promise made to our community in 2005: To establish a residential hospice in Grey Bruce to care for patients and loved ones in our region. The task was not an easy one. Over the years many dedicated health providers committed to improving end-of-life care in our region worked with other care partners to take advantage of this opportunity, but for various reasons success was elusive.

Today we are proud to be operating a six bed residential hospice in our temporary location at Season’s Retirement Community in Owen Sound. This is the first necessary step in becoming the Centre of Excellence our loved ones deserve, and our journey continues.

Together with the South West Community Care Access Centre, the VON Grey Bruce, the Grey Bruce Healthcare Chaplaincy Council and many other community partners, we are providing bedside care to patients from across Grey and Bruce Counties. A dedicated and exceptional staff of Registered Nurses and Personal Support Workers work alongside volunteers and families to ensure we meet a shared goal of providing compassionate, dignified patient centred care to individuals with a progressive life-limiting illness, empowering them to live well while dying.

Since admitting our first patient on May 29th of 2013, we have learned a lot about our operation. We know that we are truly a regional hospice, with over half our patients coming from communities outside of Owen Sound. We know that we are supporting our health system partners, caring for patients who come to us from the hospital or from their home when residential care is needed. We know that we’re working well together and that we are now a part of a more comprehensive end-of-life care system that offers our loved ones dignity and comfort in their final stages of life.

We also know how essential this service is to our community and how important it is that we continue to move forward. In our temporary leased space, we are finding that we are using all our available beds more and more often. We must continue to plan our eventual move to Chapman House, that will be purpose built and appropriately sized to meet the growing demand for care in our community. But we must also stay focused on those in care. Our patients and their families deserve no less than our best.