There is a large, cheerful, toy-filled playroom for children in one area. And there are plenty of private “nooks and crannies,” or small, inviting spaces filled with books, comfortable furniture and a television.
The 43,000-square-foot Robert M. Rogers Hospice Center, which houses HomePlace, the residential inpatient facility, was built in 1999, all with community donations. The 23 acres of land also were acquired with community donations and fundraising. HomePlace can house up to 28 patients who are very ill and close to death. The Hospice also takes care of an additional 315 patients in 18 counties who are at their homes or in an assisted living facility. And the 501c3 organization, founded 30 years ago provides the care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.
“The Hospice focus is on comfort, not a cure,” Ms. Ream said. “Studies show that supportive care may help extend lives, and it relieves the burden of caregivers.”
Hospice takes a team approach to patient care by asking what the patient needs and then providing it, Ms. Ream said. “There are physicians, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, volunteers, and most importantly, the patient and his caregiver,” she said.
There also are a team of chaplains representing many different faiths who either serve on the Hospice board or who visit with patients and caregivers if they desire it, “because there are many ways to be in pain,” Ms. Ream said.
The organization emphasizes education for its doctors and nurses, and all are either certified in Hospice and palliative medicine or internal and family medicine. “And we have two of about 50 nurses nationwide who are certified in pediatric Hospice care and palliative nursing,” Ms. Ream said.