Time to Build a Hospice House

The 5- bed hospice residence, which will be located adjacent to CHPC administrative offices in Lakewood, will serve an estimated 200 patients annually.
The 5- bed hospice residence, which will be located adjacent to CHPC administrative offices in Lakewood, will serve an estimated 200 patients annually.

Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care (CHPC) is pleased to formally announce plans to establish a hospice house in Chautauqua County.

Most large communities have a residence that provides round the clock hospice care. CHPC is regularly reminded of this profound necessity because too many of our most frail patients are transferred from the area because we don’t have our own hospice residence; the nearest hospice residence is located in Warren, PA.

Outside of a hospital or nursing home, hospice care in Chautauqua County does not provide in-home 24-hour care. Hospice care team members visit regularly, sometimes multiple times a day, but are not able to stay with the patient day and night. Once admitted to the hospital, patient stays are limited and, if unable to return home, they are transferred to a nursing home or an out-of-area hospice residence. The result is sometimes feelings of abandonment by the patient, stressful circumstances when the patient is most vulnerable and severance of existing hospice care relationships.

Area residents Liz Frederick and Eric Hall, helped to remind CHPC staff about the need for a residence, after finding a wondering neighbor, who was on hospice care. The gentleman had no family caregiver and ultimately passed in the hospital. Although he had the resources to hire private in-home care, none could be found on short notice.

“My dear neighbor’s financial resources could not buy a caregiver on short notice when his illness overpowered him,” said Frederick, who has volunteered as a campaign committee member to raise the necessary funds. “The fright he experienced when he thought he would be transferred in his last days to the care of strangers and lose his beloved hospice nurse will always be with me.”

The vast majority of people at the end of their life would prefer to die at home. Sadly, there are many more situations where it’s not feasible to remain at home due to difficult living conditions including lack of financial resources or complex medical needs. A local hospice residence will enable these patients to transition to a dignified and beautiful home-like environment, easing the stress of all those involved with caregiving. The strong bonds that have been developed with CHPC staff can remain in place. More significantly, family visitation will be easier than if the patient were transferred to a more distant care setting. An estimated 200 patients and their families will be served by the residence each year.

Patient rooms will include hide-away beds for family members.
Patient rooms will include hide-away
beds for family members.

To realize the dream of a residence in Chautauqua County, CHPC set out to raise $2.1 million through the “Our House” campaign, and has currently raised more than $1.1 million through generous donors and foundations. The funds would allow for the home on the property to be converted into a five-patient facility complete with accommodations for out-of-town guests and a separate kitchen for their meal preparation.

The hospice residence will be accessible to everyone regardless of ability to pay. “Room and board will be paid in full by Medicaid or private pay on a sliding scale, or with funds provided for the un- and under-insured through an existing fund at the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation,” according to Shauna Anderson, President & CEO.

She added, “This will be a community asset available to everyone in the county and will make a difference in ways we don’t think about. At the end of life, family members need to be family—emotionally supportive companions, allowing time for reconciliation and growth. This would allow them not to become exhausted from the overwhelming stress of providing physical care as well.”

A one-minute animated video provides an exterior and interior tour of the future house at chpc.care/hh.

The mission of CHPC is to provide comprehensive palliative/end-of-life care and education. CHPC provides hospice care for patients and families facing life-limiting terminal illness, palliative care for those with serious chronic illness, and bereavement support to individuals, families and organizations who have suffered the loss of a loved one. For more information, visit www.chpc.care or call (716) 338-0033.