When Hospice of the North Coast (HNC) opens the doors to its new, six-bedroom, Hospice House in-patient residence in Carlsbad in late Summer 2013, the facility will fill a desperately-needed healthcare niche while fulfilling a longtime dream of this nonprofit hospice that has served North County for three-plus decades.
Located on nearly three-quarters of an acre at 4411 Park Drive, HNC’s Hospice House will offer a warm, tranquil environment where patients and their loved ones can spend their last days together. With an R.N. on duty around the clock, patients will enjoy the quiet peacefulness of their private room and bathroom, plus indoor and outdoor amenities.
HNC Executive Director Nerice Kaufman states, “We have arrived full circle from our inception in 1980 when Father Paul Camm of St. Andrew’s Church in Encinitas organized congregation members to help care for a terminally ill congregant in her home. When curative care becomes futile, most people wish to spend their last days ensconced in the familiar warmth of their own home. When that is not possible due to safety/security concerns or financial circumstances, many end up alone in a skilled nursing facility or hospital. In contrast, our Hospice House will offer a homelike environment where patients can live with safety, comfort and ongoing palliative care.”
Kaufman says statistics show that the need is great. “California ranks 47th nationally in availability of hospice house beds. Currently, only 16 freestanding hospice residences exist in the entire state; none in North County. As a result, many terminally ill patients suffer unnecessarily due to limited placement options. Our Hospice House extends our mission of helping people have a peaceful life-through-death experience by offering a welcome end-of-life home for those who need it most.”
Earlier this year, HNC seized an opportunity created by the State Legislature’s adoption of Senate Bill 135, which, effective January 2013, made licensing of a freestanding hospice house far less cumbersome. Also in January, HNC was awarded a $1,065,000 Community Development Block Grant from the City of Carlsbad toward the $1,250,000 purchase of the nearly 4,500-square-foot property, which was built in 2003 as a residential care facility for the elderly.
HNC will provide all levels of hospice care within the residential setting, with an emphasis on those with the highest level of need. Clients will be accepted based on a physician order and on Medicare regulations regarding appropriateness for hospice. Through a holistic combination of continuous symptom control, integrative therapies, spiritual support, respite care, family counseling and assistance with the practical tasks of daily living, HNC’s Hospice House team of staff and volunteers will create a program to suit the individual needs of each resident.
The purchase transaction was completed in February 2013. Currently, modifications to the turnkey property are being made as equipping, furnishing, beautification and staffing ramp up. A Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting will take place at 4 pm on July 12, 2013. Later this summer, the fully operational Hospice House will welcome its initial patients.
MAJOR GIFTS CAMPAIGN
HNC has embarked on a Major Gifts Campaign to support one-time start-up and ongoing operating costs. Kaufman says, “Significant funds are needed to fill the sizable gap between what insurance covers and what patients need.” Major Gifts Officer Don Beaumarchais is meeting with individuals, businesses, foundations and other organizations to present diverse giving opportunities in accordance with the wishes of the donor. Beaumarchais says, “I invite people to email me at email@example.com to make an appointment to discuss the possibilities.”
–Hospice of the North Coast