Contact: Laureen Crotteau, Event and Media Relations Coordinator
E-Mail: [email protected]
Since Joliet Area Community Hospice (JACH) opened Illinois’ first freestanding hospice home inpatient unit in 2004, community need for compassionate end-of-life care has surpassed 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 waiting list to be admitted into the home.
In 2017, a committee was created to confirm the feasibility of a $3.5 million capital campaign subsequently named “Remembering from the Heart.” An overwhelmingly positive response was received from the community. The $3.5 million campaign will expand and renovate the Hospice Home inpatient unit adding four additional patient rooms, bringing capacity from 16 to 20, with convertible space for another four rooms in the future. Until August 2018, only 16 beds were allowed at Illinois inpatient hospice units. The bill to increase the bed capacity to 20 was introduced by Illinois State Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet), and quickly passed through the House. It was then supported by Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) who helped move the bill through the Illinois Senate. In August of 2018, former Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law. This timing was perfect for JACH to add these rooms to its planned renovations.
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 so nurses will be closer to their patients. The kitchen and spiritual space will be expanded and each patient room will be equipped with a refrigerator, sink and French doors leading to a private patio.
Since 1982 when JACH started, the public has learned more about hospice and end of life care and the importance of having options in one’s final days. Hospice is a specialized type of care for those facing a terminal illness provided wherever home is: the family home, nursing home, assisted living facility, hospital or an inpatient hospice unit. Pain and symptom management is provided by an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, CNAs, chaplains, social workers and volunteers. Together they provide medical, emotional and spiritual support. Both the patient and the family are provided bereavement services to assist with coping with grief and loss.
The improvements to the JACH inpatient unit will allow more families to receive the care they deserve in a warm, welcoming setting.
If you would like to support Joliet Area Community Hospice’s “Remembering from the Heart” campaign, please contact Jackie Bersano, Sr. Director of Development at 815.740.4104 or visit lightways.org.