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Opening of Toronto’s first children’s hospice: Emily’s House

Author: Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association
24 June 2013

Matt Galloway’s interview with the Philip Aziz Centre’s Executive Director Rauni Salmine sheds light on the inspiration, design and goals of Toronto’s first pediatric palliative care hospice, Emily’s House, which opened on June 11th.

Located at Gerrard and Broadview in Toronto, Emily’s House seeks to provide support and care when there is no cure. Salmine describes the environment at Emily’s House as child-friendly, warm and home-like, with toys, video games and programs such as pet therapy, music therapy and art therapy. Salmine explains how Emily’s House works to fill a gap in Toronto’s current palliative care services for children. She explains, the Philip Aziz Centre’s research demonstrated that children and families facing life limiting illness needed more than a volunteer visiting program. For example, families exhausted from caring for their terminally ill child 24 hours a day 7 days a week were unable to find a respite break through hospitals. Now, through Emily’s House, parents can find this support. Additionally, counseling will extend to siblings and parents, acknowledging that they often need this type of support as well. Ultimately, the main messages Salmine puts forth are that children and parents do not have to go through this experience alone and the focus should be on celebrating the life of children will terminal illness by allowing families to make the most of the time they have with their child.

To listen to the full interview via CBC, please click here.    

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