Fall 2015

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2 0 | PULSE W i n t e r 2 0 1 5 M ost of us are aware of hospice and perhaps a bit intimidated by the thought of needing hospice care someday. A terminal diagnosis can thrust patients and their families into a new reality of dependence: Families may find it challenging to provide continuous care their loved one now requires. Further, some family members may live out of state or live nearby but are unable to take time off from work to provide needed care. Soon, Caring House will welcome residents on hospice in the South Bay to help families during this time of transition. Caring House is a non-profit organization located in Torrance whose goal is to provide a warm and comfortable home-away-from-home for persons at the end of their lives, says Ed Long , volunteer and president of the organization. Once open, it will be the first of its kind in the South Bay and in all of Los Angeles County. Now, patients receiving hospice care will have an alternative place for that care. Caring House staff and volunteers will provide care and support around the clock. Elder care advocates began planning Caring House more than a decade ago, when they realized there was a need for this type of service in the South Bay. In 2013, Long's mother became terminally ill and asked to go to an end-of-life home in her hometown of Syracuse, N.Y. Its peaceful home environment and the caring staff skilled in end-of-life-care his mom received there confirmed for Long the importance of opening Caring House in the South Bay. Caring House has six private bedrooms to accommodate six residents, with common areas for families to rest, talk and receive support, plus a full kitchen for meal preparation. Caring House is a homeā€”not a medical provider. Residents wishing to have hospice care will need to choose a Medicare-certified hospice service. Each resident's chosen hospice team will visit them at Caring House to provide medical care, such as pain management and other services. Caring House will have two trained caregivers on duty 24/7 for six residents and support from an administrator with a nursing and hospice background and other vetted staff and volunteers. Medicare and Medi-Cal will not cover the cost of Caring House services. CARING HOUSE: A LOVING HOME FOR THE LAST STAGE TORRANCE CARE HOME TO OPEN ITS DOORS BY 2016. WRITTEN BY CAROLE JAKUCS, BSN, RN, PHN | PHOTOGRAPHED BY LAUREN PRESSEY C O M M U N I T Y B E N E F I T The Caring House team, left to right: Dan Hudson, Karen Hlavaty-Pearson, Claire Coignard, Patty Long and Ed Long. Opposite page, top left: Karen Hlavaty-Pearson shows off the kitchen. Bottom left: Patty Long mans the phones.

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