The vast majority of people at the end of their life would prefer to die at home. However, if the patient has complex medical needs, lacks a caregiver or the caregiver is exhausted, the patient currently must be moved to a nursing home, hospital or an out-of-area hospice residence. Such a transfer comes during the most difficult time in their illness and often conflicts with the patient’s or family’s wishes to remain at home. Valuable time may be required to find an available bed or apply for Medicaid insurance before the transfer can take place. Sometimes a family can afford to hire private in-home care but can’t find it on short notice. When the only option is an out-of-area bed, family visitation is more difficult and reduced, the patient feels abandoned and our caregiving bonds are broken.
With a hospice house, the most vulnerable of our residents will transition quickly and easily, avoiding unnecessary patient/family stress and easing CHPC social work involvement. Out-of-area family members or those wishing to stand vigil over their loved one will have accommodations on site. Patients who are no longer able to reside in their homes or who can no longer safely perform their daily activities will have a safe, peaceful, comfortable and dignified residence. And family members will have significant caregiving burdens lifted in the final time with their loved one.
Recently-completed renovations to our offices will enable CHPC to grow, serving more families well into the future. The hospice home, which will be adjacent to our offices, will expand our Lakewood campus dedicated to end-of-life care and education.
The Our House campaign goal is $2.1 million. Slightly less than half the campaign total will go toward the purchase, renovation and construction of the residence. The other half will go toward two funds, an endowment that will be held in perpetuity to assure the success of the residence, and a restricted fund to safeguard all CHPC programs.
Most large communities have a hospice residence; now it is our community’s turn. Each year this five-bed residence will give over 200 of our patients and their families the comfort and dignity they deserve when they need it most, and will augment the care options available to our patients at hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Since the founding of our agency in 1982 as the Hospice Information & Referral Service, the need for the care we provide has never been greater. The most vulnerable of our residents are too often unable to remain at home in their final days. They are still dying alone or in institutional settings and families are in turmoil. The care we provide now is as important as the volunteer assistance we provided 38 years ago and stands as a testament to the vision of our founders. We honor that vision and commitment as we take this important next step in caring for our community.