Visiting hours at the Victoria Hospice Palliative Care In-Patient Unit are usually unrestricted, 24 hours a day. Children are invited to visit, too, provided that they are well supervised and do not disturb others on our unit. Most of our patient rooms are private rooms and feature sleeper chairs where visiting family members may stay overnight if they wish.
Wondering how to be a helpful visitor? Shorter visits about 20-30 minutes at a time are usually best. If you’d like to bring a gift, first ask family members or caregivers what might be appreciated. Remember not to include any lilies if you decide to bring flowers, because many people have unpleasant reactions to lilies. Please don’t wear perfume, scented hand cream or after-shave when you visit.
Before bringing food in, check on dietary restrictions or favourite cravings. Try not to interfere with regular schedules. If a meal or snack arrives during your visit, encourage the person to eat while you’re there and provide whatever help may be needed. If the person says "I’m feeling tired" or something similar, respond promptly and cut the visit short. Be flexible! Plans can change at a moment’s notice if the person is not feeling well or wants to cancel a planned visit.
Sometimes people who are very ill do not want any visitors other than immediate family. Even close friends may be asked not to come when the ill person feels too exhausted to visit. While this may be upsetting, it is not uncommon and should not be taken personally. It’s important to respect the wishes of each person.
As the person’s condition declines, conversation may become more difficult, but this does not necessarily mean that visitors should stop coming. Patients may still enjoy the presence of loved ones and the sound of their voices, even if they are not actively involved in conversation anymore. If you’re in doubt about whether to visit or not, contact the family or our In-Patient Unit: 250-370-8715.
The Victoria Hospice In-Patient Unit has a covered smoking area – restricted for patient use only.
Visiting pets must, of course, be healthy, well-behaved, quiet and supervised so that they don’t disturb others. Ask one of our staff members about the possibility of bringing in the family pet for short-term visits.
You might also occasionally see pets on our unit wearing the bright turquoise kerchiefs of PATS, the Pacific Animal Therapy Society. These are specially screened animal visitors accompanied by PATS volunteers who are happy to visit patients or family members in their rooms if requested.
There are NO PETS posters displayed around the Royal Jubilee Hospital site. This is an infection control initiative of the Vancouver Island Health Authority, and does not include compassionate pet visits that are usually permitted here at Victoria Hospice.