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Karyn’s husband Brian said that “Karyn would have wanted this, for her story to have meaning and to inspire others.”

Giving Tuesday is coming up on on Tuesday, December 3, 2019. If you are thinking about making a gift that day or doing something special to honour or remember a loved one, we hope you will do so with Karyn in mind!

Karyn spent 16 days at Sakura House this past March. Each day she would pick a quote to inspire her. One of her last quotes was “cultivate kindness.”

We will be sharing more about Karyn and her wish for kindness on Giving Tuesday.

🦋 Donate Early here:


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Handbags for Hospice 2020 tickets will go on sale this Thursday, November 21st at 10:00am. The event takes place on Friday, January 17, 2020 at the Oxford Auditorium in Woodstock, Ontario.

You can purchase your tickets two different ways this year, starting at 10:00am this Thursday:

1. Online:…

2. By telephone: call 519-539-1231 and use extensions 224 or 269.

Tickets are $70 each and there is maximum purchase of eight tickets per person. Bottles of red or white wine can be added for $30 each. Questions? Contact Kristina at or call 519-539-1231 ext. 224.


At VON Canada, we’re focused on extending the reach of health care providers into communities to enhance the quality of life for our clients — and to create the conditions that help people become and stay healthy and well.

Through the use of Sensory Technologies’ eShift platform, VON Canada has been part of an innovative model of care that better supports palliative and complex patients, while making the delivery of home care easier and more efficient.

For eight years, the VON team has been delivering specialized home care services across Ontario. Recent work with the London Health Sciences Centres award-winning Connecting Care to Home (CC2H) initiative, helping clients with COPD and heart failure manage their illness in a home setting, has resulted in 47.9% cost savings and a reduction in patient length of stay of 59%.

EShift provides clients with direct, 24/7 access to a VON Directing Registered Nurse, and they benefit from an integrated “one care team” approach that includes a common Electronic Health Record across all care settings.

A three-year study, led by Western University, concluded that the eShift model of care supported patients to die in their place of choice, reduced caregiver stress and burden, resulted in shorter hospital stays (with an overall reduction of nearly 60%), and is proven to lower readmission rates in complex end of life patients, with rates now below 2%.

Through the use of eShift, VON Canada health care teams reported high job satisfaction, high interpersonal collaboration, and believed they were providing high quality care to patients and their families.

VON and Sensory Technologies are excited to continue to work together to deliver a superior model of care to those who need it most —and to pursuing new opportunities in Ontario and beyond.


Friday December 1, Whitby, ON – Whitby residents showed their overwhelming support for hospice care Thursday evening, during a fundraising event designed to help pay for community hospice services and to announce the building of a new 10-bed residential hospice.

More than 200 people attended the Handbags for Hospice event organized by the VON Durham Community Corporation.

“This event demonstrated the tremendous support of the community for hospice services including a future residential hospice,” said Chris Raynor, chair of the VON Durham Community Corporation. “This marks the beginning of an annual tradition to raise money for residential hospice services.”

Organized by 70 volunteers, Handbags for Hospice brought out a wide range of community support, including firefighters, police officers, paramedics and cadets, who helped raise money through a silent and live auction.

VON announced it will soon launch a capital campaign to raise $10 million for the new residential hospice in Whitby. The new facility is part of a larger plan to build three new hospices in the Durham region. Five other beds will be built in Clarington as well as five more in Port Perry.

“Families have come to realize their loved ones wish to end their lives at home or in a home-like setting, surrounded by their loved ones,” Raynor said. “Compassionate end-of-life care is the way to end a life well lived. We are extremely grateful to the many volunteers and donors who came out this evening to show their support.”

Three project teams are working collaboratively with the Central East LHIN to bring residential hospices to the region.


Different tastes and smells are often nostalgic, and usually conjure memories of happy times in a person’s life. Homemade brown bread; tea biscuits with jam and butter; the incredible aroma of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven—the list goes on. But what happens when those sweet treats you once enjoyed making for family and friends is no longer feasible or safe to do on your own?

The VON Adult Day Program in Middleton and Berwick is proud to offer a Memories Baking Program, giving clients a renewed sense of independence in the kitchen and an opportunity to enhance skills they once had.

“When we do intakes with new clients, they often tell us that they used to bake, but are no longer able to do so. This program has given our clients the freedom and pleasure to bake again, but in a safe environment,” says April Bailey, Adult Day Program Coordinator

Using a Montessori approach, clients work together to make delicious treats to be used for snack time, dessert, and birthday celebrations.

“All clients play a role that is appropriate for their interests and capabilities,” Bailey says. “From reading the recipes aloud, to measuring and pouring ingredients, to mixing—there’s something for everyone to do.”

Clients are encouraged to bring in old family recipes to be shared and enjoyed with others. Since the program began in January, they have made bread, cupcakes, muffins, squares, and cookies.

“There is also an element of learning about new technologies,” Bailey adds. “For some of our clients, the idea of using an electric mixer or bread-maker is novel. Some clients are absolutely fascinated by it.”

The program was developed after a generous $2,100 donation from Artists with Artitude and support from Canadian Tire in Greenwood. Items purchased for the program include: a deep freezer; stand and hand mixers; a bread-maker; and all new baking utensils. Leftover funds will be used to replenish ingredients required for baking so clients will have plenty of material to continue to create those tasty treats.

(Photo credit: Debbie Roza-Mercier)

Accreditation Canada is an independent, not-for-profit organization that consults with experts to develop health care standards based on best practices. They accredit a wide range of health care and social services providers, including hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, clinics, and community health programs. Accreditation Canada has been helping providers improve health care quality and safety for more than 55 years.

Copyright by VON Oxford 2018. All rights reserved.