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History of Bethell Hospice

Bethell Hospice (formerly Hospice Caledon) was incorporated in 1990 to provide in-home support to individuals with a life-limiting illness, as well as their caregivers, families and friends.

The organization was renamed Bethell Hospice in April 2010, when our ten bed residential hospice opened in Inglewood.  Bethell Hospice is the only residential hospice serving all of Caledon, Brampton and Dufferin County.  Lorna Bethell was the driving force behind our Bethell Hospice residence.  Her passionate belief that every person has the right to die with dignity, free from pain, and in the comfort and embrace of family and friends is our guiding principle.

Deeply affected by her husband Tony’s experience as a survivor of The Great Escape in WWII, Lorna felt no one should die a lonely death.  She also knew firsthand how taxing hospital stays could be on patients’ families, as she slept upright in a chair by the hospital bedside of her step-son, Jamie, prior to his death.

When Tony died of cancer in his Caledon home in 2004 with Lorna by his side, Lorna knew she wanted other families to also have a place to spend their last days together, free from the responsibility to provide direct care to their loved ones. When Lorna’s daughter, Elizabeth, mentioned how the patients she saw as a VON nurse would benefit from hospice care, the idea for today’s Bethell Hospice residence was born.

Lorna Bethell’s initial gift of $2,000,000 was matched by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Health & Long Term Care, and inspired other leadership gifts from members of the community.  After a six year building campaign, Bethell Hospice opened in April 2010.

After the opening of our Bethell Hospice residence, Lorna turned her attention to ensuring that Bethell Hospice would always have the funds necessary to provide residential and community care programs at no cost to residents, program participants or their families.  She was the most vocal champion of the fundraising initiatives of the Bethell Hospice Foundation Board and staff, and remained actively involved, sharing time with residents and their families until her own death in 2013.

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