With over 100 speciality hospital beds, and 240 long-term care beds, St. Joseph’s is one of Guelph’s leading providers of rehabilitation, palliative care, complex medical care and long-term care.
“It’s the kind of place you’re not likely to know about until you need our services,” says Jennifer Hall, Vice-President of Development. “We’re here to support people who are facing significant health challenges to have the best quality of life,” says Hall. “We’re the piece of the puzzle after acute care.”
Staff support seniors and those who are dealing with advanced disease, disability and terminal illness. What brings someone to St. Joe’s is usually a pretty significant health event or trauma, but it may also be due to care needed to support disease and disability often associated with aging.
Those who need very significant ongoing medical care are welcomed here. If you’ve had a stroke and are no longer in acute care but have a 3-to-6-month road of rehabilitation ahead of you, St. Joe’s is the place you would go. Some may be recovering from a heart attack, brain aneurysm, significant medical trauma or surgery, have MS or Parkinson’s disease, have suffered a serious accident or have an advanced disability. Palliative care is also provided.
In addition, thousands come every year for outpatient services. This includes rehabilitation, pulmonary respiration, and speech pathology for children; there is even an amputee clinic.
The other element that is a big focus at St. Joe’s is supporting seniors so they may live in the community for as long as possible. St. Joe’s Outreach Services offers Alzheimer’s and dementia day programs, overnight respite services, acquired brain injury programming, and welcomes those who are frail and isolated, so they have a place to go during the day.
In Canada, we are extremely fortunate to have access to universal healthcare, especially during times like these as we face the global COVID-19 pandemic. But what many Canadians may not know is that the operating funding organizations like St. Joe’s receive from the province doesn’t cover the costs of purchasing medical equipment or renovating patient care facilities.
That’s why St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation reaches out to the community to encourage donations. Without community giving, the health centre simply wouldn’t be able to purchase much-needed equipment and supplies.
As the holiday season approaches, St. Joe’s has put together its Christmas Wish List. It outlines the health centre’s most-needed items of equipment as they respond to the second wave of COVID-19. The wish list includes disinfecting equipment, sit-to-stand lifts, EKGs and IV pumps.
Many patients need assistance with their mobility, so additional sit-to-stand lifts are required. Electrocardiograms are used on every single patient and resident as they give staff a baseline of the patient’s heart health that can be checked to ensure there are no signs of heart disease, heart attack, heart stress or heart episodes. IV pumps most often deliver pain relief medication, but they can also deliver additional blood, oxygen or fluids.
The health centre has also had to create new areas for people who are coming in for the first time. If someone requires an inpatient rehab hospital bed, they must be isolated for two weeks before they can join the rest of the patients to protect the vulnerable population St. Joe’s serves from COVID-19. This applies to all of the hospital areas at St. Joseph’s, so they’ve had to create new rooms so that people can comfortably and safely isolate, and staff can care for them. This required purchasing additional equipment the Health Centre hadn’t anticipated having to buy.
St. Joseph’s wish list items are desperately needed and are going to be key to their success, especially as we are now in our second wave of COVID-19. While the list is short, each piece of equipment is critical.
“We are really in dire need of these items and we’re really hoping the community will lend their support this year,” says Hall. “Every year we are able to buy the equipment we need because of the amazing support from our community. We are so grateful for that.”
Please consider making a donation this holiday season to support St. Joe’s. Your giving allows them to continue caring for patients and residents, many of whom are among the most vulnerable to the virus.
For more information, visit St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph.