Providing Vital Benefit for Hospice Care to Our Region
“When facing a terminal illness, we must provide compassionate care not just to the patient, but their loved ones. Everyone is often facing anxiety, grief and stress,” says Roger Barnhart, CEO of Ashland Health Center. “Frequently, a hospice patient is more accepting of the situation than is the family. Beyond medicine, we must also address the psychosocial aspects of mind, body and spirit for friends and family.”
While the staff of Ashland Health Center is unsurpassed in providing quality and compassionate care, there has been very little within the facility that offered tranquility.
The ideal for hospice services would be in the serenity of home, surrounded by life’s memories and supportive loved ones. But for a variety of reasons, that is often unavailable. For many, the only option is to be admitted into the hospital for 24/7 nursing care and pain management.
“Thanks to those in our area that donated to and supported the Ashland Community Foundation, there is now a quiet, soothing and home-like environment for hospice care within Ashland Health Center,” explains Barnhart. “It’s a true community collaboration, supporting the efforts to care for an entire community.”
Gone are the stark white hospital walls. The addition of tranquil lighting, warm colors and rich texture has converted an acute care room into a comforting environment for both patients and loved ones.
Developed by nursing, maintenance, administration and physicians of Ashland Health Center, the project was all inclusive, ensuring a cohesive project while optimizing grant monies from Ashland Community Foundation.
“We dedicated our efforts to improving quality of life for those facing a terminal illness,” says Barnhart. “Committed to helping patients and their loved ones live each day as fully and comfortably as possible - appreciating all of their last moments together by providing compassionate care in a peaceful environment.”
Made locally and specifically for the hospice room, there are shelves for wedding photos and family memorabilia on both sides of the patient’s bed. The wall at the foot of the bed has a shadow box, able to hold the patients favorite scripture or quote. Adorning other walls are still more shelves for photos of grandkids and cherished keepsakes. An expanded private bathroom, stocked fridge, coffee maker, multi-purpose entertainment station and convertible recliner/sofa will insulate, protect and allow privacy in a serene, home-like environment throughout the mourning process.
“The needs of both the hospice patient and their loved ones are far beyond that of medical care. So we are extremely grateful for the collaborative efforts of Ashland Community Foundation and Ashland Health Center,” says Barnhart. “Through the support of our community, we can now provide better psychosocial care for our shared community.”
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