When the West Island Palliative Care Residence was originally founded in 2002 they started in a 9-bed facility and eventually the ministry asked to rent another 14 beds, but had to be carried out on 2 separate sites. When noting their long term goals, they soon recognized the need to consolidate these 2 sites under one roof. This renovation project started with a capital campaign in April 2018 and immediately started construction by that same year in June. They originally started with an objective of $12.5 million but had to raise it to $14.1 million because of various rising costs and have exceeded that objective which now stands at $14.5 million. When everything is finalized it will probably have cost them a total of around $15 million. Today, they are only weeks away from completion, noting that mid-summer is when they will unveil these final renovations.

Let’s take a look what will be new and why.

The 2 main goals for this renovation was first to consolidate the 2 palliative care sites together, and the second was to further develop the Montreal Institute for palliative care.

On a long term base, they needed to consolidate for several reasons. First to benefit the patients and their families so they can all be in the same environment with the same care to create more of a home-like surrounding. Second, this greatly benefits the employees as this allows more flexibility, their own break rooms, better accessibility to learn from each other, and third, in the long term, financially this would help them save money on rent.

The Montreal Institute, a branch within the West Island Palliative Care Residence, is evolving with these renovations as now they don’t need to rent a completely separate place for their training and seminars. Even before the Montreal Institute was officially founded, they would have seminars that served to connect and educate the public on the practices of palliative care. These include medical students, nursing or social work students that can do rotations or stages with the Residence, healthcare professionals that are exposed to people at the end of their lives, or even the public if they plan on taking care of somebody in their own homes. After the renovations, the Montreal Institute will have a full-fledged learning centre on the 2nd floor of the residence that can now accommodate up to 75 people, including full video conferring capabilities. This, of course, allows them to have more space for internal training as well as the ability to reach out to more people and thus fulfil the institute’s vision.

Concrete Differences:

There will be much more access to the outdoors, as they stress the importance of landscaping throughout these renovations. Along the back of the building, there will be new hedging and trees as to create more privacy to the residents, there will also be the creation of brand new patios, and each of those new patios will come with dividers between the rooms. There will be much more new common spaces noting a big beautiful living room, a break room on the second floor and even a terrace on the second floor to enjoy the sun!

A Commemoration to Teresa Dellar:

Teresa Dellar, the co-founder and executive director of the Residence touched many lives and ultimately led the Residence into what it is today. She regrettably passed last summer after a long battle with cancer. The renovations will also pay tribute to the beloved founder in many ways, such as a commemorative bench, a beautifully engraved rock and most notably an extravagant special garden; all in her name. Along with these renovations, it was also announced recently that The West Island Palliative Care Residence will soon be officially renamed “the Teresa-Dellar Palliative Care Residence”.

After an interview with Dale Weil, newly appointed executive director of The West Island Palliative Care, she notes the importance of the philosophy behind The Residence and what it truly means to her:

“It is such an important part of our community that is really providing the very best of days for people towards the end of their lives. It’s a way to allow people to live their lives as best they can and for their families to be able to just be with loved ones and not worry about their care. For me, it’s one of the most meaningful ways we can help the community. We spend a lot on birthing and beginning of life and we need to have that same level of attention and love at the end of life. For me what’s important is that we don’t add days to life but we really do add life to days, it makes a difference and it enables family members to heal in a way that wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the resident.”

FUNDRAISER: 3rd Annual Live Butterfly Release

This popular fundraiser where people purchase butterflies to honour their loved ones will be slightly different this year because of social distancing regulations. The event this year will also pay tribute to Teresa. It will be carried out on your behalf and broadcasted live on Facebook, on Sunday, July 26th at 2 p.m.

Reserve your butterflies now in honour or in memory of a loved one. Donate $30 to have 1 butterfly released or Donate $100 to have 4 butterflies released.

Click here for online payment

In addition to releasing your butterfly on the day of the event, they will also send you a personalized digital butterfly in memory or in honour of your loved one.

Follow the live butterfly release on our Facebook page Sunday, July 26th at 2:00 p.m.

All proceeds from this event will benefit the patients and their families at a time when it is needed more than ever.

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Leanna is a communications student at Concordia University with a passion for storytelling. You’ll see her at your favourite events carrying her camera and tripod, where she probably already asked if you’d like to be interviewed. Her vibrant energy and wicked social skills enable anyone to have a meaningful conversation with her, so go say hi! You’ll often find her at a cute cafe drinking an Instagram-able overpriced coffee while editing her videos. As an aspiring videojournalist, Leanna wants to hear YOUR stories so she can ultimately help further that sense of community in the West Island.

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