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What is a hospice residence?

Hospice care is a part of palliative care. A hospice residence provides a home-like setting for people who are nearing the end of life, who don't require care in the hospital, yet have more care needs than can be provided at home, to live to their fullest. Hospice care involves a wide range of services to support patients and their families to live as fully and comfortably as possible. Patients receive professional nursing care with physician support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This includes medical and personal care to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. Other health care providers, such as social workers, music therapists, and trained volunteers provide emotional, spiritual, grief and bereavement support. 

Is there a cost to access a hospice residence?

Hospice residences are available to all Nova Scotian’s with a valid health card. Additional costs may apply. Please ask your local hospice what this may mean for you. For example, at Halifax Hospice (operated by the Halifax Hospice Society) medications are supplied by a community pharmacy, so if there is a copay for your medication when you are at home, that may be the same when you are in Hospice. At Valley Hospice and Hospice Cape Breton (operated by Nova Scotia Health) medications are supplied the same as if you were in hospital. If a person requires an ambulance transfer from home to hospice, there may be costs with this. Speak with your hospice team to learn more and if you have any concerns about costs.

Where are hospice residences available in Nova Scotia?

There are three hospice residences in Nova Scotia: 

How do I access a hospice residence in Nova Scotia? 

Each hospice residence has their own referral and admission process. You can find details here.

Hospice Societies

The Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Association is a non-profit association that supports Nova Scotians, their families, and caregivers, who are living and dying with a life-threatening illness by sharing information, local supports, and tools and resources to ensure families and individuals receive the best care possible. The association exists to promote palliative care through networking, public and professional education, advocacy, and research. The Nova Scotia Hospice Palliative Care Association is not affiliated with Nova Scotia Health. 

There are hospice societies across the province that do invaluable work every day. You can find local supports in your area here.

Looking for information on palliative care?  You can find local supports in your area here.

Accessing this Clinic, Program or Service

Halifax Hospice

618 Francklyn Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3B4

(902) 446-0929 

You can find admission details for Halifax Hospice here.

To be referred there are three important documents a health care provider will send to the hospice: A Request for Assessment (.pdf), A Hospice Admission Agreement (.pdf) and a Goals of Care (.pdf) (or similar) document.    
The process to have these completed is:

A physician or nurse practitioner will determine if a person meets the eligibility criteria for Hospice.

  1. If a physician or nurse practitioner believes a person is eligible to be admitted and the patient/delegate is in agreement, they can submit a Request for Assessment form (.pdf) to the Hospice.    
  2. The Nova Scotia Health policy and procedure for Hospice Assessment Requests is also available for your information here. It includes the eligibility criteria as well as roles and responsibilities related to admission to Hospice.    
  3. The patient/delegate must sign the Hospice Agreement (.pdf) at the time the Request for Assessment is faxed to the Hospice to ensure there is an informed understanding of the care offered.    
  4. A Goals of Care (.pdf) (or similar) document that reflects that the goal is for comfort directed care without resuscitative efforts must be signed and accompany the Request for Assessment.

Patients who wish to be considered for admission to Hospice Cape Breton can be referred to the Palliative Care service in Cape Breton by their physician or nurse practitioner. For more information, please contact 902-567-7846.

To determine if a person is eligible for admission to Hospice Cape Breton, the following criteria must be met:

  • life expectancy of three months or less
  • the goal of care is comfort

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