10 Reasons We Need a Hospice Home

August 19, 2022

10 Reasons We Need a Hospice Home

West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation is fundraising for enhanced end-of-life care for our family, friends, and neighbors. Here are ten reasons why a hospice home is not only impactful to the community but necessary.

1. It would be the first in the region.

While there are two hospice homes in Memphis and one in Nashville, rural West Tennessee does not have equitable access to healthcare. Building a facility in our region would reduce stress among families and patients having to travel long distances for the quality end-of-life care they deserve. Investment in the Hospice Home for rural West Tennessee would be historic for the community.

2. Built to meet the needs of our community

The Hospice Home is designed to have 20 private, furnished suites well equipped to handle the needs of our community. Over 65 percent of Americans spend their final stage of life in hospice services, and nearly a third of those will need residential hospice services. (Huffington Post 2014) Currently, over 500 people a year require residential hospice care or respite care in our area. Many of those individuals are unable to afford extended stays in for-profit hospice facilities. With countless families seeking hospice care, it is crucial to meet the need here in our community and invest in a hospice home.

3. Specialized care for patients

While hospitals and assisted living facilities are an option for some patients, others will not have access to the adaptable and high quality care that a hospice home delivers. The Hospice Home team will be comprised of specialized doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and trained volunteers. Together, they ensure the best quality of life possible through three levels of expert care: general inpatient, residential, and respite care. The adaptability of hospice homes provides the ability to give dignified end-of-life care specialized to each individual seeking it.

4. Provides 24/7 care

The Hospice Home will bring 24/7 excellent palliative care to our region. Many residential homes are not equipped for end-of-life care, and most of us are not ready to handle loss in our own homes. In order to provide consistent and round-the-clock care, it is vital that we build a facility that can rise to the challenge. A hospice home is needed to secure advanced healthcare to those facing some of the toughest times in their lives.

Beth Koffman, Vice President of The Foundation, explains the distinctive characteristics of a hospice facility compared to in-home alternatives:

"The reality of the economic situation in West Tennessee is that most personal homes are not suited for 24/7 hospice care. A hospice home is a perfect solution for these families, and in some cases, it is safer for them to spend their final days in a hospice home."

5. Opportunities for activities and entertainment

The Hospice Home focuses on the quality of those last days for patients and their families. It is important to offer residents ample opportunity to engage in activities that bring joy and remind them to reflect on the good times. The Hospice Home will have a serenity garden with the ability for patients to be brought outside and enjoy the outdoors. The garden will include a playground where residents' families can let their beloved children play, too.

6. Designed with family in mind

At the forefront of the Hospice Home is the consideration of the family. It is designed to not only be a comfortable place to live but also to visit. The Hospice Home offers a number of comfortable settings for families to share stories, laugh, cry, and celebrate a life well-lived. A hospice home in our region is necessary to ensure residents can spend their last days surrounded by loved ones. This protects families from having to experience loss in their personal homes while giving patients dignified end-of-life care.

In addition, the Hospice Home will offer several expert support programs, such as Bereavement Community Outreach Support, Camp W.I.N.G.S. Grief Children's Camp, Group Support Services, Pet Therapy, Art Therapy, and Music Therapy.

"Bereavement support and other grief support programs can really be life changing for families who struggle after leaving loved ones behind. Support programs ease the pain of loss and assist in charting a path towards healing."

Donna Stines, Philanthropy Council Director, The Foundation

7. A place of mercy, comfort, and love  

Every person deserves a place of comfort for hospice care where they can live their last days with dignity and be surrounded by loved ones. The Hospice Home will have expansive windows, providing natural light, rich wood finishes, artwork from local artists, and a stone fireplace to bring the coziness of home. The entrance to the Hospice Home will have the phrase "Mercy, Comfort, and Love" written above it to remind us why we are committed to offering excellent end-of-life care.

"End-of-life care is not about a cure; it's about the quality of those last days. Our wish for each of our patients is to enjoy a peaceful, comfortable environment rather than a cold, clinical atmosphere."

Beth Koffman, Vice President, The Foundation

8. Motivated by compassion not profits

A hospice home focuses on quality end-of-life care over prolonging life. The national average stay at a hospice home is 30 days. Insurance pays for most of the expenses; however, room and board is not included. To offset these costs, the Hospice Home will have an endowment to cover the cost of room and board for those who are unable to afford it. Anyone who seeks end-of-life care deserves the option of high quality, 24/7, adaptable care. At one of the most critical times in life, it is essential to support our friends and neighbors in need.

9. Unites the community

The Hospice Home Campaign is a unique opportunity for the community to rally together to support advanced healthcare in West Tennessee. It is a way to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors, coworkers, and friends. This project will take a community of small donors, large donors, physicians, and local businesses all working together to meet the need in the region.

"I think for West Tennessee being a more caring and compassionate community is what it's all about. Pulling every corner of the region together will not only work towards making the dream of the Hospice Home a reality, but also towards strengthening our bond as a community."

Todd Swims, Co-Chair, Enterprise Society/Philanthropy Council

10. Leaving a legacy

Donating to the Hospice Home is a major way to impact the lives of the people in West Tennessee. Planned giving is an amazing way to leave a legacy after we pass on to continue to benefit the community in perpetuity. Chances are that you or someone you know will need the services of West Tennessee Healthcare. When that time comes, it is vital that we ensure that the best facilities and technologies are there to serve them. The Hospice Home is a unique opportunity for individuals and businesses to make a difference locally and support the community for years to come.

"From what we get, we can make a living, from what we give, however, makes a life." -Arthur Ashe

To learn more about the Hospice Home Campaign, visit www.hospicehome.org, or contact Donna Stines at donna.stines@wth.org.

Huffington Post, https://projects.huffingtonpost.com/hospice-inc

Donating to the Hospice Home is a major way to impact the lives of the people in West Tennessee.
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