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Over 3,000 Niagara County residents served

Mon, May 15th 2017 03:00 pm
Niagara Hospice House celebrates 10 years of comfort and care to over 3,000 patients and families.
Niagara Hospice House celebrates 10 years of comfort and care to over 3,000 patients and families.

Niagara Hospice House is Niagara County's only residential hospice house and in-patient facility located on the Niagara Hospice campus on Sunset Drive in Lockport. On June 5 Niagara Hospice will celebrate ten years of comfort and care provided at Niagara Hospice House.

"We welcomed our first patients at Hospice House on June 5 in 2007," said Janet Ligammari, RN and Director of Hospice Clinical & Facility Services. "Since then, we have met over 3,000 patients, and their families; all of whom we consider a privilege to serve."

A Niagara Hospice House Open House will be held at 4-7:00pm on Monday, June 5 at 4675 Sunset Drive in Lockport to commemorate the 10-year anniversary, and to welcome the community in for guided tours, a brief rededication ceremony, refreshments and conversation.

The facility that is often described more as a five star resort, started out at 24,000 square feet. Two additional suites were opened in 2010 on the residential wing, bringing the total number of longer term residential suites to ten. The general in-patient wing also has ten suites designed for patients needing short-term medical monitoring for symptom management.

Niagara Hospice co-founder and board member, Patricia Evans said, "We had been dreaming of having a hospice house in Niagara County since the early 1980's when we started establishing a hospice for Niagara County. We knew it was needed then, and since serving our first hospice patients in 1988, many of our patients and their families had been asking for residential hospice care. It's hard to believe our dream has now been in operation for ten years and has served so many of our friends, family and neighbors."

Each suite at Niagara Hospice House was designed with patient and family in mind with a sitting area and easy-chair sleeper. Each family also has access to gathering rooms, lounges, fireplaces, a chapel, and the Niagara Hospice Memorial Gardens. Niagara Hospice House also boasts a 1,000 gallon salt water aquarium for visitors and residents to enjoy.

Hospice leaders put a tremendous amount of thought into making sure the "house" feels like a home. "Some of our staff and board members visited several hospice houses in the northeast to see how other organizations provide this service," stated John Lomeo, Niagara Hospice and HomeCare Partners President & CEO. "We asked what these organizations liked best about their hospice house and what they might have done differently. This provided tremendous feedback for us during the planning stages."

To additionally commemorate the 10th Anniversary, staff and volunteers are working on gathering Hospice House memories for a book to be shared at a later date with Hospice friends and family. Organizers request that any families served by Niagara Hospice House that wish to share a memory for the book, submit it in an e-mail to info@NiagaraHospice.org. Pictures of their loved one can accompany the story that need only be a paragraph or two. Niagara Hospice Director of Marketing, PR and Volunteer Services Tricia Degan said, "Some of these families have already come forward and agreed to a video-taped interview that will be part of an educational presentation that can be shared at the Open House and in the community through our Speakers Bureau." Degan explained that no one tells the story of Hospice better than the families who have experienced hospice care first-hand for a loved one. "In doing these interviews, the recurring theme is that although Niagara Hospice House is a beautiful structure with a calm and comforting atmosphere, it is the people - the staff and volunteers - that families remember most. The compassion and caring that each have for every patient and family member is paramount."

A printable invitation to the June 5 Open House can be found on the Event Calendar page at www.NiagaraHospice.org. The event is open to the community and no RSVP is required. Degan encourages attendance from anyone unfamiliar with hospice care as well as from anyone served by Niagara Hospice. Degan said the time to learn about hospice is before a family needs the specialized care of their hospice and palliative care team, stating that too many families still state they wish they had called Hospice sooner.

Niagara Hospice has provided comfort and care to over 25,000 individuals and their families since 1988. Hospice services include physical, emotional, psychosocial, spiritual and bereavement care. Hospice care is appropriate for any advanced stage illness, not just cancer, where the prognosis is a life expectancy of approximately six months or less if the disease runs its normal course.

For more information visit www.NiagaraHospice.org or call (716) 439-4417.


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