Clinical / Healthcare Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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Answers
  1. How many family members occupy the four family suites per year?
    In 2006, there were 2,336 unique individual family members* that stayed in-house utilizing the four-family suites. A family ‘books’ themselves into a family suite when their child is admitted for a stay in the Hospice. Higher priority for family suites is given to families with children staying for pain and symptom management issues, end-of-life care and/or ‘emergency respite’. One parent or two and/or the siblings also stay in the same suite. Sometimes a grandparent(s) come and they stay in the same suite.

    *each family member that is in the house on every given day in each room is counted.
  2. What is the average stay for children for family support and respite care; and for end-of-life care? How many times can a child be admitted for respite?
    Currently, families may book up to twenty (20) nights of family support and respite care per calendar year.

    If children require emergency respite or admissions for pain and symptom management, these nights do not count in their yearly respite total.

    The average respite stay is seven (7) nights or less – as many families wish to spread out their respite stays throughout the year and avoid having their children away from home for a prolonged period of time.
    Based upon availability, families may be offered extra nights of respite care – these extra nights also do not count towards their yearly total.

    The length of stay for children admitted for end-of-life care varies greatly – it may be as little as a few hours to a month or more. The length of stay depends upon the level of complex care required, the availability of community resources, and the desire of the families.
  3. How many children do you admit every year?
    We have approximately 200 children on our program, of these approximately 120 use the program for in-house admissions each year. Some will use their entire number of respite nights, while others might only use a few.

    On average we admit approximately 25 children for end-of-life care each year into the Hospice.
  4. What do you do for children who need to be isolated from other children? What specific protocols does Canuck Place take?
    Canuck Place has adopted a practice similar to what community residential programs would do (versus those practices of an acute care setting like a children’s hospital) and, in general, use universal precautions and vigilant hand washing practices. We do not have negative pressure rooms so cannot do a true isolation. We have had children with MRSA – this has worked as the children were not ambulatory and therefore could not be the cause of spread; in these cases, staff and family members practice excellent hand washing and use gowns when necessary.
  5. When a child dies, how do you proceed with a funeral home? Do you have a special door for this specific purpose?
    We do not have a specific door. All of the care rooms are on the 2nd floor, with the only elevator being at the end of the hall. When someone from the funeral home comes, we try to make sure the other children and families are elsewhere in the house. We also try to prepare the funeral home representative ahead of time to make sure the appropriate care and respect is shown to the child and their family (i.e. not zipping up the body bag). We prepare other children/families in house by letting them know that a child has died.
  6. Rooms for children – do you suggest to have a hide-a-bed for parents in all rooms or only in some of them?
    What kind of furniture is in the children’s rooms; and in the adolescents’ rooms?
    We have five (5) single care bed rooms and two (2) multi-bed rooms.
    Furniture includes a hospital bed (or crib or Vail bed as necessary), bedside table, height adjustable overbed table, TV, phone, and all bell system.

    We do not specify children versus adolescent rooms as they are all standard and we just move beds around as needed to accommodate specific children’s needs.
    We have a number of fold-up costs for parents if they wish to sleep in the same room – these are portable and can be moved from any room that needs one or can be stored.
  7. Does Canuck Place offer any specific activities / programs for adolescents?
    Programs in house are the same for all children with access to all members of the interdisciplinary team. We do have teen specific programs called “Teen Group”.
    There are separate girl and boys teen groups held once a year with a follow-up reunion weekend. The focus is on teen issues as well as grief and loss issues related to living with a progressive life threatening illness.

    Canuck Place also offers two respite camps each year – typically one for children and one for teens. The camps are a week in duration, take place at a wheelchair accessible site outside of Vancouver and are coordinated and staffed by the Canuck Place clinical team and volunteers.
  8. Do you have any specific outdoor equipment for children with disabilities?
    Canuck Place has a fully accessible outdoor playground for children with disabilities – a popular feature is the wheelchair accessible spinning round-about.
  9. How many meals does the Canuck Place Kitchen serve every day and what kind of specialized equipment does it have?
    We serve approximately 50+ meals per day to children, family members, staff and volunteers. We have a modified commercial kitchen with industrial appliances.
  10. Is there parking at Canuck Place?
    Located at the end of the driveway, the six parking spaces are used for the Canuck Place van and bus, service vehicles, family loading / unloading and night-time staff parking. Families, visitors, and staff are required to park on the street respectful of our residential neighbourhood.