Jessica's House

Frequently Asked Questions

Jessica‘s House is a three-bedroom, residential hospice providing end-of-life care in a home-away-from home for those facing a life limiting illness while supporting family and friends at a difficult time.

Is there a cost to stay at Jessica’s House?

NO, neither families nor residents will pay anything to stay at Jessica’s House regardless of the length of stay. This assumes you have an Ontario Health Card to pay for prescriptions. If you don’t have an Ontario Health Card, you will need to pay for your medications.

Why do you call people “residents” if the stays at Jessica’s House are usually only a few weeks?

Jessica’s House is a home-like setting. We think a home-like atmosphere is best created in all the little things we do including how we refer to people who come to stay at Jessica’s House. Family is also welcome to stay with their loved one.

How do I apply to come to Jessica’s House?

The first thing that needs to be done is the completion of a referral form. Anyone can make a referral to Jessica’s House. You can refer yourself or your family or physician can. Once the referral form is completed you will fax, email or mail it to Jessica’s House. Once your referral form has been received, your name will be added to the Wait List.

Once my name is on the Wait List, what happens next?

Residents are admitted to Jessica’s House based on specific criteria. The decision of who receives the next available bedroom is made by the Director of Care and Medical Director of Jessica’s House. The Director of Care will then call you to offer you a place at Jessica’s House and they will tell you what to bring, when to arrive, etc. You will need to have a visiting home nurse or your doctor complete an Admission Form at that time.

Who will care for me while I am at Jessica’s House?

Our care team is made up of our Director of Care who is a Registered Nurse and nursing staff including Personal Support Workers and Registered Practical Nurses from Saint Elizabeth, the same service that provides nursing care in people’s homes. We also have a Medical Director who is a local and accessible physician who provides medical support if a resident’s own physician is unavailable. Our volunteers are an important part of the care team that will oversee the maintenance of the building, prepare meals and support families.

When can I submit a referral form?

Referral forms can be submitted beginning in late May 2018, and downloaded HERE.

When does Jessica’s House open?

Following the Grand Opening on Thursday June 14th and the Open House for the public on June 15th and 16th, Jessica’s House will open to admit residents beginning June 18th.

Do you only care for cancer patients?

No. All people with life limiting diagnosis are eligible for hospice care.

Who decides who gets the bed?

Once the patient has indicated that hospice care is something they would like, a team from Hospice, Hospital and the Palliative Care Consultation Team will access their readiness for hospice, including the progress of their illness and the support they require. Hospice beds are filled efficiently as we accept residents 7 days/24 hours a day. The Director of Care ( DOC) and the staff team at Jessica’s House will make the final decision on bed allocation.

What are the benefits of a Residential Hospice?

  • Provides support for not only the patient but the caregivers and loved ones 
    • The goal of palliative care is to provide comfort and dignity for the person living with the illness as well as the best quality of life for both this person and his or her family. A “family” is whoever the person says his or her family is. It may include relatives, partners and friends 
  • Variety of supports available including physical, emotional, cultural and spiritual 
    • An important objective of palliative care is relief of pain and other symptoms to improve the quality of life for residents and their family. Palliative care meets not only physical needs, but also psychological, social, cultural, emotional and spiritual needs of each person and family. Palliative care may be the main focus of care when a cure for the illness is no longer possible. 
  • Non-denominational, culturally sensitive 
    • Residential Hospice care is available to anyone regardless of race, national origin, colour, political affiliation, religion, age, sexual orientation, economic circumstance or disability. Residents live out their final days with dignity in a way that honours their belief and value system.

Who can stay at Jessica’s House?

Patients will include every single person who wishes to come, regardless of age, gender-identity, economic status, race or religion.

Do you have to live in Huron County to access Jessica’s House?

Residents can come from anywhere in Ontario however it is best if people access hospice care closest to their loved ones. We want to make it easy for families to be together during this difficult time. 

How do we access Jessica’s House for a loved one?

Once we are open families can visit or call Jessica’s House directly, a family doctor can make a referral or you can call the LHIN Care Coordinator to determine if Jessica’s House is the right service for your needs.

How can I continue to support Jessica’s House?

People will often recognize important life moments such as birthdays, anniversaries and the loss of a loved one to provide opportunities to remember and support Jessica’s House, encouraging family and friends to donate in honour of those they love. Please plan to attend the
Jessica’s House Music Weekend this June 22-24, 2018 at the Rodeo Grounds in Exeter. All proceeds go to fund the operations of Jessica’s House.

There are many ways you can make a gift to Jessica’s House: 
  • Memorial Donation
  • Donation by cash, cheque, credit card or online
  • Join the monthly giving program (fits all budgets, easy to set up)
  • Gifts of appreciated securities and other personal property such as stocks, bonds or life insurance.
  • Gift in Will

Who do I write my cheque out to?

Cheques can be made out to South Huron Hospital Foundation – please note Jessica’s House in the memo. Donations can be mailed to or dropped off at 24 Huron St. W, Exeter, ON, N0M 1S2.

Still have questions?

If you would like to learn more about Jessica’s House, give us a call at 519-235-2700 ext 5133 or email