Frequently Asked Questions 

What is hospice palliative care?

Hospice palliative care refers to specialized care of people who are dying that aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying.


  • We strive to help residents and families address physical, emotional, social, spiritual and practical issues, as well as their associated expectations, needs, hopes and fears

  • We help residents and families prepare for the dying process and cope with loss of grief during the illness

  • We offer bereavement to those in the community that have lost loved ones


In medieval time, a hospice was a place of shelter or sanctuary for travelers, pilgrims and others. No journey in life is more difficult than the path followed by those suffering a life threatening illness, so hospice has now become a philosophy of care built around the quality of life for the dying and their families.

Doesn’t hospice mean “There’s nothing left to do”?

No, actually hospice means there is much more that can be done. With hospice, the emphasis of care has shifted from cure to improved quality of life through pain and symptom control. Here, a holistic approach to care is offered where spiritual, psychological concerns are treated as equally important to physical concerns. We promote opportunities for meaningful and valuable experiences, personal and spiritual growth and self-actualization.

Who can receive care from ARCH?

Residents of Algoma District facing advanced stages of any progressive illness may register for ARCH services, provided that the prospective resident, family members and attending physician all understand and agree that the focus of care should now be on comfort instead of cure. Typically, residents have a prognosis of three months. They can register with ARCH even before any of our services are actually required.

Who pays for ARCH services?

ARCH is a charitable organization with 45 staff, more than 130 volunteers, 12 physicians, 1 nurse practitioner, and an annual budget of $1.8 million dollars.


We receive approximately half of our annual funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and half from the generous donations of the community. Our annual fundraising goal is $600,000. Community donations support all ARCH services and programs that are not funded through the health care system – bereavement services, supportive and spiritual care, volunteer coordination and training, operating expenses for food, equipment, building services, administration and maintenance.


We raise funds required to meet the expanding need for end of life services. You can help us by making a donation to support end-of-life care in our community.

How can a person be admitted to ARCH?

A referral request can be made by anyone - a physician, an individual, a health care provider. An order must be written by a physician for admission to our Hospice and an individual must be registered with the North East Community Care Access Centre. Following confirmation of eligibility, an ARCH staff member will visit the potential resident and family. Our services will be discussed and any questions answered at that time. If you have questions about our referrals and admission process, please call us at 705-942-1556 extension 204 or email us. You can also visit our Admissions page.

If residents live longer than 90 days, will they be ‘kicked out’?

Of course not! However, there are occasional residents who improve to such a degree where the home or a long-term care facility is more appropriate for their care. ARCH services are specialized for end-of-life care, and we work alongside the individual and their family in order to ensure they are in the optimal facility for their current care needs.

Is hospice just for individuals who have cancer?

No. Hospice care is for anyone who needs dignified, compassionate, comfortable end-of-life care.  Approximately 80% of the residents we serve have been diagnosed with cancer. Other diagnoses include circulatory, respiratory and other chronic and progressive diseases.

Do residents have to pay for ARCH Hospice care?

There is no fee for ARCH services; however incidental expenses such as co-payment for medications, toiletries and incontinence products are the responsibility of the individual and/or family.  

Who staffs the hospice and cares for the residents?

Resident care is provided 24 hours a day by registered nursing staff with palliative care training and experience. Other members of the team include the family physician, a physician specializing in palliative care and personal support workers. ARCH has a small administrative staff as well as volunteers who play an important role in providing support services at the hospice. Volunteers who assist with resident care have completed a 30-hour palliative care course.

I need to take time off work so that I can provide care for my family member who is gravely ill. Where can I find information about the employment benefits I may be eligible to receive during this time?

​To learn about Compassionate Care Benefits offered through Employment Insurance and how you can apply, please click here

​What is Bereavement Leave and where can I find more information?

As stated by the government of Canada: "When a member of an employee's immediate family dies, the employee is entitled to leave on any normal working day that falls within the three-day period immediately following the day the death occurred." To learn more about Bereavement Leave click here

What is a hospice volunteer?

They are people just like you! Hospice volunteers come from all walks of life, age, ethnicity, gender and professional backgrounds. Volunteers unselfishly give their time and talent to help other people. A volunteer is someone who believes that people can make a difference and is willing to demonstrate it. For more information on ARCH volunteers, please click here.

Is ARCH a religious organization?

We have no designated religious affiliation. Supportive care services are available at ARCH and can include:


  • Help to connect with a faith or traditions that have meaning for our residents and families

  • Help in planning funerals or other rituals to mark times of loss and change

  • Referral to community clergy and faith communities

Can I have someone from ARCH speak at my event? 

ARCH Hospice can provide a speaker for any size group. We can leverage our vast knowledge of hospice to deliver informative talks about hospice and surrounding issues. If you would like to schedule an ARCH Hospice presentation or in-service, please send us an email request with the following information:


  • Your name

  • Organization

  • Date and time of speaking engagement

  • What topic would you like covered?