Ribbon cut for new Hospice House

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2009

&dquo;It&squo;s a celebration of a dream that has come true, so let me say thank you, thank you, thank you,&dquo; said Hospice board chairman Ron Smith to begin his remarks at the ribbon cutting. &dquo;Thank you all for making this possible. And we thank the 750+ donors who have to date given $5.5 of the $6 million it cost to build, to furnish, and landscape what we believe is a state-of-the-art facility for our community. Obviously, without you, we wouldn&squo;t be here today.&dquo;

Hospice House, located on Fairwinds Road near the Landrum exit of I-26, plans to be fully licensed and operational by the end of February and to begin accepting patients by the beginning of March. A community open house is scheduled for March 31.

Hospice House is designed to support not only the Hospice patients but their families. Each room has a guest bed and large recliner next to the patient bed. The patient wing includes a family lounge, children&squo;s play area, and an office area for family members&squo; who need to get work done while they are visiting Hospice House.

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The facility&squo;s round chapel room, made possible by 90 churches that donated over $110,000, can be used for events, such as weddings, christenings or birthday parties, if families want to bring a celebration to a loved one at Hospice House.

The facility is designed to provide temporary care for patients who require &dquo;round-the clock management of physical symptoms, or caregiver respite. It also will provide permanent care for people who need a place to spend their final days because they are no longer able to stay at home.

Hospice of the Carolina Foothills began the Hospice House project about five years ago with the search for and purchase of a site for the building. Hospice submitted a certificate of need to the state to get approval for the project.

The state determined the number of bedrooms for the facility based on expected demand in the area. The facility was designed so an additional patient wing can be added later to accommodate more bedrooms as demand grows.

Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, which has an administration and program center in Columbus, originally set a fundraising goal of $3.5 million for the new facility, but soon surpassed that amount.

The organization continues to accept donations for Hospice House. Anyone interested in learning more about the facility or how to contribute can visit www.hocf.org.