At St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph (SJHCG), we recognize that end of life can bring about a wide range of feelings and emotions. Our team of compassionate care providers are here to support patients and families in a way that ensures the highest quality of life for the patient and a meaningful end of life experience for all.

Preparation and Support

Taking a holistic approach, we consider the physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of patients throughout the end of life journey. The program provides:

  • Pain and Symptom Management for those who need hospital treatment to help with pain and symptoms associated with a palliative diagnosis. The length of stay may be short with patients being discharged once their pain and symptoms are under control.
  • End of life care when palliative care needs can no longer be met in the community and patients do not wish to pass in their home.

The Care Team

The care team at SJHCG includes a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, personal support workers, pharmacists, social workers, bioethicists, spiritual support, and volunteers, to name a few. Most importantly, the team includes patients and families. We believe involvement of family and significant support persons is important for patients during this stage of life. We partner with the patient and family in developing individual care plans.

Spiritual and Religious Care

The Spiritual Care team respectfully honours expressions of spiritual, religious, or non-belief of clients, families, and staff. In collaboration with other members of the care team, the spiritual care providers help to integrate spiritual and/or religious aspects of care that may be helpful in supporting the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.

View additional information about our Spiritual and Religious Care services.

Room Blessing and Funeral Procession

Supporting clients and families with compassion and respect is part of our core values at SJHCG. To honour the lives of those who pass, we invite families and healthcare providers to join in a room blessing and funeral procession.

The room blessing provides the opportunity for families and care providers to reflect for a few moments, using the time to pray or offer remembrances. At the end of the blessing, a card is left behind for the next patient to explain that the room has been blessed to make it a welcoming and safe home.

When leaving the Health Centre, families and staff can participate in a funeral procession that leads to the front doors of the facility. This is another way to honour and pay tribute to those that pass at SJHCG.

These rituals remind us that every person is unique and that end of life is a truly human experience.

Indoor and Outdoor Space

Comfort Cart

Our Palliative Care Unit has 8 private rooms and a shared family room and kitchenette. A quiet room with a pull-out couch and full bathroom is available on a first-come, first-served basis, to loved ones who are spending long hours at SJHCG.

Each of the rooms provide a welcoming space with large windows that overlook the grounds at SJHCG. As weather permits, patients and families can make use of the many patios and gardens. There are also many events that take place at SJHCG, including musical entertainment, which patients and families are welcome to join when they feel able.

A comfort cart is available for families of patients at end of life. The cart provides such things as light refreshments, reading materials, and warm blankets. For more information, please speak to a member of your SJHCG care team.

View additional information on items to bring with you (PDF, 99KB).


Three free parking passes are provided for the family/caregivers of palliative care patients and can be obtained through switchboard. A $10 deposit is required that is refunded upon return of the pass.


Visitors are welcome at any time. The main entrance to SJHCG on Westmount Road is unlocked from 6:00 am to 8:30 pm daily; however, visitors to the palliative care program can access the building outside of these hours by buzzing security at the front door.

View additional information about visiting the Health Centre.


To learn more about palliative care, contact the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network at 310-2222.