I see that there is a new sign in place for the proposed Adult Mental Health and Addictions Facility on the Health Sciences Complex site. I want to address the relocation of the hostel to accommodate this proposal and the increased costs to health care delivery that will go along with it.
The proposed new Adult Health and Addictions Facility will encompass the current hostel, with a new hostel being built offsite. I recently spent five days visiting my mother daily at the Health Sciences after she was flown in by air ambulance.
While I stayed with family in town, the other three occupants in my mom’s room were all from the west coast and all had family staying in the hostel.
One lady had been there over three weeks; another had been 10 days. One couple in particular from Port Aux Basques really caught my attention.
Both were 80 years of age. The lady was awaiting heart surgery. Her daughter had flown in from Halifax and was staying with her father in the hostel. The gentleman would wander up in his slippers and spend most of the day with his wife.
He would go down to his room in the hostel for a nap, a break or a cup of tea. The daughter would float in and out attending to both parents. The gentleman would stay with his wife right until bedtime. Rarely was a nurse or staff member required because the family did whatever was needed as if they were at home.
I found it very touching.
Meanwhile, I would drive in daily from C.B.S. and circle the “Parking Full” lots until I found a spot and endure the February wind and cold hiking to the building.
I would be reluctant to leave to have a break or run an errand because going from the sauna like hospital heat out into the cold would probably give me pneumonia and I would likely not find a place to park upon return.
You can see where I’m going with this.
Hostels provide much more than a reduced room rate.
They relieve the burden on our already taxed nursing and hospital staff and provide better quality patient care when family has the opportunity to participate. I doubt the elderly gentleman from Port Aux Basques would have been able to spend nearly the same amount of time with his wife had a hostel been located 10 km away.
I know that not every hostel can be connected to the hospital it serves, but seeing as how we have this great opportunity now, and considering there are questions about construction in a flood plain anyway, would it not be prudent to take another look at the proposed site for this much needed new facility?