A free-standing hospice for Langley

After more than 30 years of effort Langley Hospice Society has announced plans for a dedicated 15-bed facility

Since opening their doors more than 30 years ago, the Langley Hospice Society has been working toward building a free-standing hospice residence, and today, they are one step closer to making that a reality.

On April 27 the palliative care society was officially offered a site by Fraser Health to construct a 15-bed, free-standing hospice residence for patients in Langley.

Although the exact site and building time line has not been released, “we’re happy to say now that we’re definitely moving forward on this,” said board president Kathy Derkse.

“It’s (the current interim facility) in an aging residential care setting building, and it has a number of limitations so we’re really excited now to get the green light on this and get going,” she said.

“It’s so much more comforting for the families and those people who are dying.”

The announcement aligns with the Ministry of Health’s commitment to double hospice spaces across the province by 2020. In their current interim facility, the Langley Hospice has 10 beds, most which are in shared rooms.

The new facility will open with 10 beds in private rooms, and the capacity to add five more.

“Right now the existing facility is pretty much always maxed out — the 10 beds are full — which means that Langley residents then have to find somewhere else in other communities,” Derkse said.

“We can do a lot more things at the new residence than we can in the old residence.

“We’re working with sub-par electrical and those kinds of things, so we’ll be able to offer a lot more.”

A budget has also not been released, but Derkse was able to confirm that 50 per cent of the funding for the project has been met.