Patient General Information

Sakura House is an end-of-life care center that feels and functions like a home.  The focus of care at Sakura House is the patient and his/her family.

Our private patient rooms include comfortable space for family members to stay day or night. In addition, the patients and visitors have the opportunity to experience the outdoors on their own private patio or throughout the various gardens and pathways that encircle the property. Special family spaces, which provide the conveniences and comforts of home, are available to encourage and enable families to take time out while remaining in close proximity to their loved one.

SH patient and hospice montage

The Sakura House Care Team continuously strives to employ the most current and highest standard of care and support available. Technology is utilized but kept hidden as much as possible to preserve the home-like feel of the facility.

Sakura House is a place where people can feel safe to grieve and know that a caring team of professionals and volunteers will provide support through this difficult time. The goal at Sakura House is the provision of physical, psychological, emotional, social, spiritual and practical end-of-life care and support which neither postpones nor hastens death.xx  xx xx

Information for those who will be staying or visiting Sakura House

Care Team    Celebrations    Common Areas    Complementary Therapies    Discharge from Sakura House    Donations    Family Comfort    Fire Safety    Flowers & Balloons    Fragrance Free     Gardens     Kitchen     Library     Meals     Media Room     Patient Rooms     Patient Laundry     Personal Supplies     Pets     Quiet Spaces     Smoking     Visiting     WiFi

Care Team – Staff

If you have questions or concerns regarding services or care at Sakura House, please ask any member of the care team or contact the Hospice Care Coordinator at 519-537-8515 ext 3.

Hospice Care Coordinator
Registered nurse with years of Hospice Palliative Care expertise. Responsible for coordinating the care of the patients and the overall functions of the house. In house Monday to Friday as needed.

Personal Support Workers
PSWs with special education in Hospice Palliative care and clinical experience in the field. Responsible for hands-on care and support of patients and in house 24/7.

A specialized Hospice Palliative Care Physician is available 24/7, responsible for expert management of  pain and symptoms and end-of-life issues. In house daily as needed and on-call.

Registered Nurses
RNs with relevant clinical experience and advanced education in Hospice Palliative Care. Responsible for hands-on care and support of patients and in house 24/7.

Supportive Care Coordinator
Experienced health practitioner with volunteer management expertise and special Hospice Palliative Care education responsible day-to-day operation of all volunteer services and supportive care programs. In house 8:30am – 1:00pm, Monday to Friday (Flexible).

Care Team – Volunteers

Patient and Family Support
Experienced volunteers with basic Hospice Palliative Care education and additional education in patient care and comfort. Responsible for working along side RN & PSW as an “extra pair of hands” and in house daily for 4 hour shifts between 8:00am & 8:00pm as needed.

Basic Hospice Palliative Care trained volunteers with additional experience and education in patient care and comfort. Responsible for providing bedside support of patients during periods of family absence as requested. On-call.

Other Volunteer Roles

Spiritual Support, Greeters, Housekeeping, Kitchen, Grounds-keeping, etc.

ALL our volunteers are carefully screened and receive a baseline training relevant to their role. Every area and function at Sakura House depends upon our compassionate and dedicated volunteers. Responsibilities vary depending upon the role the volunteer is filling. In order to preserve the home-like feel of Sakura House, no care team members wear uniforms.

If you wish to speak to a specific person or you are not sure if you need to speak to an RN or volunteer, just ask anyone on the team. We are a small and closely knit team …we’ll redirect you or find the person you need.

Our volunteers are appreciated every moment of every day for what they bring into the lives of our patients, families and staff!

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At Sakura House, every day is a gift! If there is a special day (birthday, wedding, etc.) your family would like to celebrate during your stay with us, please ask to speak to the Hospice Care Coordinator or Supportive Care Coordinator.

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Common Areas

There are several areas throughout Sakura House where family members and visitors may gather:

  • Sitting rooms (2)
  • Family Lounge
  • Living Room
  • Dining Room / Kitchen
  • Media room

Please be considerate of others – share the space.

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Complementary Therapies
Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Music and other therapies are part of many individual’s symptom management regimen.  Several of our volunteers are skilled in these and other therapies and may be able to offer a session as part of patient care at no cost to the patient or family. If a volunteer is not available to offer a particular complementary therapy, patients or families are welcome to make their own arrangements at their own cost.

Note: Aromatherapy may only be offered under carefully controlled conditions due to fragrance sensitivities. Please speak to someone on the care team if you wish to implement aromatherapy.

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Discharge from Sakura House

As with all things in life, sometimes circumstances change. Sometimes the patient improves or stabilizes enough to consider leaving Sakura House for a while. This is cause for celebration! However we recognize that often this is also cause for concern; where and how will care be provided? The Sakura House care team will work closely with the patient, family, physician and community care team to develop a best-fit plan including re-admission when needed.

Leave of Absence : Please speak to the RN on duty or the Hospice Care Coordinator to arrange for the patient to leave the Sakura House grounds for a few hours.

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While Sakura House does receive funding from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for front-line nursing, all other costs of running the hospice are covered through annual fundraising appeals and the generous support of our donors. There are a number of ways to donate including: a gift registry, tribute gifts, planned giving and naming opportunities still available at Sakura House.  For more information about ways that you can give to VON Sakura House please contact Or click on the “Donate Now” button to make a safe and secure on-line donation.

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Family Comfort

The focus of care at Sakura House is the patient and his/her family. Each patient’s room includes a recliner and sofa-bed for family use day or night. There are several quiet spaces inside and outside for family members or friends to relax or rest.

Overnight stays: One or two family members are welcome to stay overnight with the patient as needed. Please let care team member know before midnight if you plan to stay.

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Fire Safety

Although we strive to keep the atmosphere of Sakura House very home-like, we also need to focus on safety at all times. We run fire and other emergency planning drills on a regular basis. We will inform all patients and visitors in advance and will try to keep the drills as unobtrusive as possible.

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Flowers and Balloons

Due to allergies please choose flowers with little to no fragrance, and latex-free balloons.

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Fragrance Free

Sakura House is a fragrance free zone.  Due to allergies and/or breathing difficulties for many of our patients, please do not wear perfumes, cologne, fragranced hair sprays etc.

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All garden areas are barrier free as much as possible. There are some therapeutic garden spaces provided where patients can plant, weed or just dig in the soil as desired. These gardens are accessible from a wheelchair or stretcher. Please ask a care team member for assistance.

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The kitchen and dining rooms are considered common rooms and are available for patient and family comfort and convenience. Meals brought from home may be warmed, but full meals may not be prepared in the kitchen. There is usually a pot of coffee on and some snacks available. A volunteer is on duty in the kitchen from 8 am to 8 pm to assist you. Please ask a care team

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The library is situated just inside the front door. Feel free to browse the books and sit and read in this quiet setting. If you would like to borrow a book please speak to a volunteer or care team member. This room is delegated as a “quiet space.” (See Quiet Spaces below)

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Patient Meals: Familiar food made at home is often preferred by our patients and can be warmed in the patient’s microwave or the kitchen microwave. We keep a selection of frozen meals on hand so they can be heated if a patient wishes. Soft and easy to eat snack-foods are kept available for patients or may be supplied by family members to meet special preferences.

Family Meals: Families are invited to use the kitchen for preparation of snacks only and are responsible for providing and preparing their on food. A kitchen volunteer will provide orientation to the kitchen including a basic overview of basic food preparation, clean up and disposal of food.

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Media Room

The media room is considered a multifunctional/common space. Patients, families and friends may use this space as a small group to visit, watch movies, listen to music, etc.   The media room also functions as our children’s area.  Dying is a normal part of living and children can experience this more positively when it is approached in a calm and non-threatening manner. The media room can provide a sound-proof, child-friendly zone where children can be children as they cope with a stressful situation through play.

When visiting children need supervision, a volunteer may be arranged. Please ask the Supportive Care Coordinator, in advance when possible, for a volunteer to be present for a specified time period.

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Patient Rooms

Bathrooms: Just like home, family and friends may use the patient’s private, fully accessible bathroom and shower.

Beds: Our beds and mattresses are specifically designed for added comfort for patients who spend long periods in bed. Your nurse will demonstrate all the various functions and comfort features of the bed.

Call Bell System: Patients are connected to the care team 24/7 via a silent paging system which can be activated from a button the patient is wearing or from the phone set.

Fridge and Microwave: Each room has a fridge and microwave for patient or family use.

Phones: Every room has a phone for patients to use to connect with family, friends or the care team at Sakura House. Due to limited lines to the house, there may be times during increased phone usage when no outside line is available. Cell phone use is acceptable in all areas of the house.

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Patient Laundry

Family is requested to take home their family member’s personal laundry. If family members are unable to do this due to distance or other factors, please speak to a member of the care team to make alternate arrangements.

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Personal Supplies

Patients or family members are asked please bring personal hygiene items and toiletries from home as needed.

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Pets are family members to many people, but special visiting privileges must be pre-arranged. Proof of current vaccinations will be required prior to approval for a pet visit.

All pets must be:
• quiet and well behaved,
• clean, free of fleas and odor free,
• accompanied by a responsible family member/friend
• on a leash no longer than 6 feet or in a carrier at all times while on the hospice property
• escorted into the  patients’ room via the deck to avoid exposure to other patients and visitors who may be allergic to or fearful of animals.

Note: Pet escorts are responsible to “stoop and scoop” – clean up behind the pet.

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Quiet spaces

There are several designated “quiet spaces” throughout the house (Library, 2 Sitting- rooms & and the Family Lounge & Solarium). These areas are prioritized for confidential conversations, supportive meetings or a place to rest and regroup. Please feel free to use these areas, but be considerate of others’ needs for privacy.

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Sakura house is a smoke free home. Outdoor smoking can be arranged for patients who smoke. Visitors are asked to smoke in designated outdoor spaces only and may not smoke near any doorways or areas that may affect a patient’s ability to breathe.

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Hours: Visitors are welcome between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm daily. Please just ring the doorbell.

After hours: Access to Sakura House after 8 pm may be arranged. Please speak to a care team member.

Children: Children are welcome at Sakura House. Please consider other patients needs for quiet at all times. Young children (under 10) may not be left unattended in any area of Sakura House or the grounds. Please see Media Room or speak to a care team member regarding keeping visiting children occupied and reducing their fear and stress.

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WiFi internet connection is available in the patient wing of the hospice. Patients and family are welcome to bring their laptops or tablets to stay connected with loved ones during their stay at Sakura House.

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