A “Home Away from Home” for Terminally Ill Patients
Hospice was created on the the idea that most people would choose to spend their final days of life in the comfort of their own home. But for some, that’s not the best option. Some people may be distressed by the thought of dying at home, or they may require more intensive or specialized care than can be had at home or in residential or skilled nursing facilities. Fortunately, there is now another option for Sonoma County residents. Sonoma Valley Hospital and Hospice by the Bay have begun an innovative pilot program, opening the North Bay’s first in-patient room dedicated solely to hospice patient care.
Located in the hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility, the single-bed Hospice Care Room provides patients in the final days of life with a “home away from home” – a comfortable and safe haven where they can be attended by hospice and hospital staff, and spend time with family members and friends. Professional hospice and medical care is available 24 hours a day to attend to patient needs. Having patients stay in the Hospice Care Room also offers family members a short-term respite from caregiving responsibilities.
The home-like space is designed to bring the patient and his or her family comfort and ease during a difficult time. It’s decorated with calming colors, comfortable furnishings and homey features, such as a hummingbird feeder outside the window. Students from Altimira Middle School put fresh flowers grown from their school garden in the room twice a week and a dedicated group of Sonoma quilters create a unique lap blanket for each patient to keep.
Non-profit health care providers Sonoma Valley Hospital and Hospice by the Bay are sharing this cost of this one-year pilot program. Hospice by the Bay raised charitable donations to support the dedicated hospice room from its annual fundraising gala, individual community members and the local community foundation, Impact 100 Sonoma.
Families seeking information about the new Hospice Care Room should contact Hospice by the Bay, (707) 935.7504.