Contact: Laureen Crotteau, Event and Media Relations Coordinator
Since Joliet Area Community Hospice (JACH) opened Illinois’ first freestanding hospice home in-patient unit in 2004, community need for compassionate end-of-life care has outgrown the facility’s capacity. Last year alone, the Hospice Home cared for over 500 patients. Yet, there were far too many days when families were told their loved one would be placed on a waitlist to be admitted into the home.
In 2018, a committee was created to confirm the feasibility of a $3.5 million capital campaign called “Remembering from the Heart”, to expand and renovate the Hospice Home including four additional patient rooms, bringing capacity from 16 to 20, with additional space to add another four rooms in the future. Until August 2018, only 16 beds were allowed in in patient hospice units when former Governor Rauner signed a bill to increase the beds to 20. This was perfect timing for JACH to add these rooms during the renovation. The bill was initiated by Illinois State Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet), Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) helped move the bill through the Illinois Senate.
Every aspect of the expansion plan focuses on maintaining a dignified and comfortable quality of life for patients and families, including additional family gathering, cooking and dining spaces that provide more family privacy. The central nursing station will be replaced by nursing cubbies throughout the facility for nurses to be closer to their patients.
Since 1982 when JACH started, the public has learned more about hospice and end of life care and the importance of having options in your final days. Hospice is a specialized type of care to those facing a terminal illness. A person must meet the qualifications before receiving hospice services. They may receive them anywhere they call home: family home, nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital or an in-patient hospice unit. The patient and their caregivers decide to focus on the quality of life instead of a curative treatment. Pain and symptom management is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, CNAs, chaplains, social workers and volunteers. Together they provide medical, emotional and spiritual support. After the patient dies, the family is provided with bereavement services to learn how to cope with grief.
The improvements to the JACH in-patient unit will allow more families to receive the care they desire. If you would like to support Joliet Area Community Hospice’s Remembering from the Heart campaign, please contact Jackie Bersano, Sr. Director of Development and Communications at 815.740.4104 ext 335 or visit https://www.joliethospice.org/donate/campaign-for-the-hospice-home/.