community support services

Services for Individuals & Caregivers

The Dorothy Ley Hospice offers a variety of services to the individuals we serve and their family members, who are involved with both our Community and Residential Programs. Our programs and services are designed to meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of individuals living with a life-limiting illness. Many of these services are also available to caregivers, close friends and the bereaved. There is no cost, thanks to the generosity of our donors and government funding.

Care Coordination and Counselling

Dorothy Ley Hospice Care Coordinators care for the whole family. The person with illness, family caregivers and children. We assist individuals, family members and caregivers, and children to understand and cope with the emotional, psychological, social, spiritual and practical challenges that may arise when experiencing a life-limiting illness, or a death. Determined by the unique needs of each individual, Care Coordinators offer the following supports:

  • Care Coordination & Advocacy: The health care system is not always easy to navigate. Our Care Coordinators are knowledgeable of and connected to many health care and community service providers to help make sure you have access to services that can help. We work closing with Home and Community Care Support Services and the Dorothy Ley Palliative Physician Team to ensure your care is coordinated and integrated.
  • End of life planning and advance care planning: We support and facilitate conversations about advanced care planning and end of life planning. We help you to think about and communicate to your loved ones about what is important to you given different situations. Exploring important pieces of your care such as who should be your substitute decision maker if you are no longer able to direct your care?
  • Counselling: In addition to the physical impact, living with a life limiting illness can take a toll emotionally and psychologically. Hospice provides supportive counselling to help individuals and caregivers when some extra support is needed.
  • Information and education on end-of-life issues so you and your family are prepared and know what to expect.
  • Supporting conversations with children and young people: Communicating with children about illness, death and dying can be very challenging for parents or loved ones. Research shows that children and young people are better able to cope with death and dying when they have age appropriate information and are included in conversations and the process of illness. Dorothy Ley Hospice Care Coordinators are available to support families in communicating with their children about illness and dying. Providing education to parents on what to expect from children and youth when having these conversations and exploring their feelings.
  • Respite: Care Coordinators can match your family with a volunteer to be with your loved one in the home, providing a break for family caregivers.
  • Companionship to reduce isolation through a supportive network of compassionate and understanding hospice volunteers. Care Coordinators will connect you with a trained hospice volunteer for companionship (conversation, arts and crafts, outings, reading etc) and to support your independence at home.
  • Support transitions into Residential Hospice care if and when that is needed
  • Legacy leaving projects: Dorothy Ley Hospice Offers a range of legacy projects that you and your family can engage with, including clay handprints, memory jars, letter writing, Legacy Trees and much more.

For more information, please contact the Community Care Navigator
416.626.0116 x 233

Palliative Physician Care

The Dorothy Ley Hospice Community Physician Team offer in-home palliative pain and symptom management to individuals with a life limiting illness who are nearing end of life. There are specific requirements to be eligible for this program and referrals must be sent from your doctor.

For Physician use only. There are specific requirements to be eligible for the DLH Community Physician Team program and referrals must be sent from your doctor.

Boundary area for the Dorothy Ley Hospice Community Physician Team

Referrals can be faxed to: 647.689.5880

Please Note – the referring physician remains responsible for the patient until the patient has been assessed and accepted into care by a Dorothy Ley Hospice Community Physician.

For more information about the Community Physician Team,
please contact our Community Care Navigator

Spiritual Care

“Death is a spiritual event. Its nearness creates a desire to identify and strengthen what is of value in one’s life. We want to tidy up the ends, to put first things first. To be unable to do so can generate a desolate feeling of meaningless. To me that is the essence of spiritual pain—to feel that one is meaningless or that one’s life has had no meaning.” – Dr Dorothy Ley
Spiritual Care is the meaningful exploration of beliefs, values, concerns, hopes and sources of resilience. Cultivating awareness of one’s own spirituality can support living a quality of life, strengthen identity and purpose, and enhance coping and meaning-making when facing death, or the death of a loved one.
Spiritual care is available to individuals with illness, caregivers and bereaved. If you are finding yourself asking questions such as “Why is this happening to me?” “Is there any meaning in my suffering?” “How do I still have value now that I am ‘unproductive’?” Or if you are feeling hopeless and alone in your illness or in your grief, then spiritual care supports may be for you.
Spiritual Care support is for all, whether religious or non-religious.
Spiritual Care offerings at the Hospice include:
  • Individual Spiritual Care sessions for psycho-spiritual interventions and care, clarification of ethical issues, and exploring strengths and existing connections with self, others and meaningful aspects of life
  • Support for loss and grief
  • Opportunities for prayer, meditation and reflection
  • Support for Life Review and other legacy projects
  • Connection to local faith communities and clergy
  • Facilitation of ritual and ceremony design and support

Self-Compassion Circle

Increase resilience by enhancing self-kindness, connection and mindfulness. Learn about the science of self-compassion and engage in mind-body techniques, self-reflection and wellness practices. Share experiences with fellow attendees. Open to caregivers and bereaved. For bereaved folks, we recommend attending grief support sessions before attending this group. 

Minimum of 6 people are required to run this group. This offering is open to caregivers, bereaved, and individuals with a life-limiting illness. 7-week course, held online via Zoom.  Some prerequisites apply for this program. Contact us to find out more

Self-Compassion Circle Practice Group

A group for past participants of the Self-Compassion Circle that offers opportunity to practice the self-wellness practices, mind/body interventions and reflections introduced during the 7-week Self-Compassion Circle program. The group offers guided practice and an opportunity to connect with others actively engaging in self-compassion.

For more information about spiritual care offerings, please contact our Community Care Navigator

Wellness Day Program

Our Wellness Day Program is a supportive service designed for those living with a life limiting illness and provides an opportunity to meet with others in similar circumstances.
In person: Weekly on Tuesdays
Online: Weekly on Wednesdays

Wellness Day In person

Participants gather to share in a light breakfast and circle check-in which offers the opportunity to share the highs and lows of life and to give and receive support.

As the morning unfolds, participants can expect to experience camaraderie and new friendships, conversation and laughter, learn new skills and engage in a variety of activities such as: games, cards, arts and crafts, guest speakers, music, gentle exercise and so much more.

Additionally, wellness volunteers are able to provide relaxation through some of our wellness services such as Therapeutic Touch®, Reiki and Aroma Touch. Pet Therapy visits are also incorporated, along with a great lunch!

If you are someone who would enjoy meeting with others, a change from your usual routine and providing your family caregivers a ‘day off’ this is the place for you!

Wellness Day Online

Participants who prefer not to leave home are able to gather for a shorter morning together to engage in a check-in dialogue, play some trivia and explore music together, all from the comfort of your own home!

For more information about Wellness Day Program, please contact our Wellness Coordinator 416.626.0116 x 228

Wellness Therapies

The practice of self-care is an integral aspect of an individual’s overall sense of well-being. Our wellness services provide care that can augment traditional pain and symptom management and be experienced as restorative and relaxing.

Guided Meditation Recordings

  • 6-minute meditation
  • 11-minute Body scan meditation
  • 30-minute meditation

Individual Wellness Services Offered

Each therapy is delivered by trained Hospice volunteers, and/or practicum students, who are certified in their respective treatment(s).

Therapeutic Touch® is a holistic wellness therapy that incorporates a consciously directed process using the practitioner’s hands
to facilitate wellness and to bring about balance and harmony to the recipient. Therapeutic Touch®, can promote a relaxation response, reducing anxiety and stress. It can help to manage pain, improve sleep and foster a general sense of well-being. The practitioner can use a light touch or no touch at all. The individual receiving Therapeutic Touch® remains fully clothed and can be seated or lying down in a comfortable position. Therapeutic Touch® can also be offered remotely.

Reiki: is a holistic wellness therapy that involves the laying on of hands directly on or just above the body by a certified Reiki practitioner. Universal energy is offered to the recipient to help elicit a relaxation response. People often experience feelings of peace and an improved sense of well-being after a Reiki treatment. The individual remains fully clothed and is usually lying down in a comfortable position. Reiki can also be offered remotely.

Aroma Touch: is a gentle touch to arms and hands and/or lower legs and feet. Very lightly scented essential oils or fragrant free oils are applied to help reduce stress and anxiety. The individual remains fully clothed and is usually seated or lying down in a comfortable position.

Art Kits: Art Kits provide therapeutic and mindful activities to help people calm their mind and thoughts. Each kit comes complete with the instructions and all supplies necessary to complete the mindful activity in the home. There are a variety of kits available including Kindness Rocks, Record Mandalas, Tibetan Prayer Flags and Word Marbles.

Group Wellness Services Offered

Yoga Classes:The yoga we offer focuses on relaxation and rest, and is inclusive of all abilities. Yoga offerings include: restorative yoga, yoga Nidra, and Pranayama  breath work.  Some offerings can be done from the comfort of your bed.

Meditation Groups: Guided meditations and body scans are offered to enhance relaxation, groundedness and clarity. Simple techniques involving body, breath and awareness are used to help reduce stress. Meditation is an individual process and everyone’s experiences will be unique.

For more information about Wellness Services, please contact our Wellness Coordinator


CRA# 130193394RR0001


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