Sackville asked for financial contribution to care for the dying in southeast NB

Tammy Rampersaud

The Town of Sackville has been asked to contribute $9,700 to help build a hospice in Moncton. The 10-bed, bilingual facility would serve about 120 people each year who are dying in southeastern New Brunswick.

The request for the donation came during Monday’s town council meeting from Tammy Rampersaud, the deputy mayor of Riverview who is helping raise money from municipalities in Westmorland, Albert and Kent counties on behalf of the registered charitable organization, Hospice Southeast New Brunswick (Hospice SENB).

“It’s all based on population,” Rampersaud told council. “So, the ask to Sackville is $9,700,” she said. “If you were so generous and willing to grant that money to the campaign, it could be done in one year, two years, all the way up to five years.”

She explained that although the two hospitals in Moncton have 13 beds for palliative care to serve dying patients, there is no hospice in southeastern New Brunswick dedicated solely for that purpose.

“Everybody wants to die with dignity, in privacy, and [with] some compassion,” Rampersaud said. “I’m not saying you don’t get that in the hospital, but it surely is a different experience in a hospital,” she added.

A note on the Hospice SENB website refers to surveys showing that 75% of Canadians would prefer to die at home or in a hospice rather than in hospital.

“In 2017, The Moncton Hospital reported that 10% of its palliative patients died at home, while the remaining 90% died in hospital,” the website says. “That is a much higher rate than the national average of 70%.”

Rampersaud cited figures, that also appear on the website, showing that hospice care is much cheaper than hospital care for the dying.

Hospice would serve children

Rampersaud said that one of the 10 beds would be set aside as a pediatric room, the only one in Atlantic Canada.

“I, being a Mom, really, really, appreciate that,” she added.

She said the Lions Club donated the land for the hospice while the federal and provincial governments have each contributed $1 million toward the $5 million cost of the building.

Aside from soliciting contributions from municipalities, Hospice SENB is also encouraging donations from private individuals.

“They are going to break ground in the spring and [are] hoping to have the building built before the end of the year next year,” Rampersaud concluded.

For more information on the Hospice SENB capital campaign, click here.

Local group ‘100% behind’ hospice campaign

Meantime, the Chair of the Tantramar Hospice Palliative Care Organization (THPCO) says the group enthusiastically supports the campaign to build a hospice in Moncton.

Stephen Claxton-Oldfield says a $9,700 contribution from the town of Sackville would be a good investment.

“A residential hospice in Moncton would serve the folks in the Tantramar region,” he says. “Our local group is 100 per cent behind Hospice Southeast New Brunswick in terms of getting this residential hospice built.”

Claxton-Oldfield, who is a professor of psychology at Mount Allison, says THPCO is an advocacy group that aims to raise public awareness about end-of-life care.

“We’re not looking to build a hospice in Sackville and we’re not raising money for that,” he adds. “We’re more about promoting end-of-life care services and resources.”

THPCO ‘wall’ last May at Sackville Farmers Market (click to enlarge)

THPCO holds events to raise public awareness, such as one last May to mark National Hospice Palliative Care Week.

Visitors to the Sackville Farmers Market were given an opportunity to pick up a piece of chalk and complete the sentence, “Before I die, I want to…”

“The idea behind the wall is to get people to reflect on death and life and share their hopes, dreams, and wishes in a public space,” Claxton-Oldfield is quoted as saying on the THPCO website.

“Doing so can help bring clarity to the things that are most important in people’s lives. By market’s end, the wall was completely full of people’s aspirations!”

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5 Responses to Sackville asked for financial contribution to care for the dying in southeast NB

  1. Dodie says:

    At one time, there was a Tantramar Hospice and Palliative Care group in Sackville — I do not know if it exists still, but if so, is this hospice working with that group? Or is this a competing interest?

    Comment from Bruce Wark: Thanks for the comment. Being new to the area, I was not aware of the Tantramar Hospice group. I’ll try to find out whether it still exists. In the meantime, maybe another Warktimes reader will have more information. Thanks again.

  2. Jane says:

    Yes. THPCO is still going. We are an advocacy group. Steve Claxton-Oldfield is the chair. We promote the Moncton hospice group’s volunteer program and have donated to them through our fundraisers over the last few years. Check out the website for more info.

  3. Dodie says:

    Thank you for the update and clarification!

  4. Sally Cunliffe says:

    Thanks Bruce… I would like to donate as an individual in Sackville directly to the project and perhaps there are others like me if the Town doesn’t want to bear the entire burden from their books… I will get in touch with this woman.. I like this initiative and the Lion’s do a lot of good in our world.. I like the Amherst Skate Park they built for the youth.. the Lion’s have very human concerns.

  5. Les Hicks says:

    I’m wondering if it wouldn’t make more sense for the Town of Sackville to support the Cumberland Care Hospice Palliative Care Society that has been raising funds to build and staff a Hospice in Amherst. There is currently a long standing interprovincial agreement between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to cover costs of healthcare that includes hospital stays, testing, surgeries and doctor appointments and according to the Cumberland Care Hospice Society board they are working toward having this agreement extended to cover hospice stay so that residents in the Sackville / Port Elgin areas would be able to make use of this facility. Perhaps the town should be supporting this society in their bid to have hospice stay included in this agreement. It would be a much shorter drive back and forth for families from our local area to visit patients in a hospice located in Amherst rather than in Moncton. In the meantime, until there is an actual physical hospice facility (in either location), we do have an excellent extra-mural care program here in Sackville that allows palliative care patients the opportunity to spend their last days in the familiar surroundings of their own homes.

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