Hospice Launches New Program with a Focus on Quality of Life

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WINDSOR — Hospice of Windsor-Essex has launched a new program with a focus on quality living.

The Social Prescription Program allows hospice doctors to refer their patients to social activities at no cost — activities such as the Windsor Symphony, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the YMCA or the Hospice Wellness Centre.

Social Worker Mike Bennett says although hospice cares for people who are dying, there needs to be a focus on the quality of life while they are still living.

Caesars Windsor has come forward to fund the program at a cost of just over $5,700, so it is free for the patients.

"We remove the barrier of having to pay," he says. "So with the Social Prescription Program and with the incredible support that we have from Caesars Windsor with the funding that we have got from them, we have been able to work out a reduced cost with our partner agencies."

Bennett says this is about caring for the 'living.'

"At hospice we are always striving, I think, to support and empower people to gain a part of their lives back despite living with a serious illness," he says.

The Social Prescription Program isn't new, it already takes place in the U.K and Bennett points out studies show the program improves the person's well-being and helps to reduce anxiety and loneliness.

Hospice hopes to have 150 patients use the service by Spring 2020.

--With files from AM800's Patty Handysides