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Deborah Coleman reflects on her family’s experience at Hospice Halifax


One year ago on April 17th we had our grand opening. Today marks the one year anniversary of the first patient we admitted to Hospice Halifax. Since that day, we have welcomed 127 patients and their families, from ages 26 to 99. The average length of stay for patients has been 21 days. We have celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and even weddings as we strive to provide the best end-of-life care possible in our home-like setting. We have provided support services to over 300 people – this includes social work, counselling, music therapy, spiritual care, and professional volunteer services. Our bereavement support group has been accessed over 150 times by people inside and outside the hospice community.

Today we are honoured to share the story of one of our patients, Ruth Ann Jarvis Coleman who died at Hospice Halifax on August 27th, 2019.

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Ruth’s family has continued to be involved with Hospice Halifax, supporting us with product donations from Skinfix Inc., as well as beautiful artwork from Ruth’s husband, Ed Coleman. Ed is an accomplished artist who donated 4 stunning paintings to Hospice Halifax – 2 of which were auctioned off at Feeling the Love and Hats Off Halifax. One of these paintings was donated back to us, and now hangs in the room that Ruth occupied. We are grateful that out of dark times, beautiful connections are fostered. Thank you to the entire Coleman family for sharing Ruth’s legacy.

Our community hospice was 20 years in the making thanks to the persistence and hard work of many hundreds of volunteers, community leaders, supportive organizations and thousands of donors who brought this dream to a reality. Further, our community supported us in opening The Compassionate Closet last December, which continues to operate online.

Our hospice is a wonderful example of what can be done when the community works together. I hope this provides inspiration for you to look for opportunities to help your neighbours, take care of our most vulnerable, and remember that the collective individual actions of many can make tremendous things happen.

Hospice Halifax is a compassionate and supportive community of staff, volunteers, and donors dedicated to making dying and living as comfortable and as meaningful as possible at the end of life.  

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