Crozer-Keystone Opens Inpatient Hospice Unit at Taylor Hospital
Ridley Park, Pa. – Since the late 1980s, the professionals and volunteers of Crozer-Keystone Health System’s Hospice department have brought dignity and peace to terminal patients in Delaware County. Hospice is comprehensive medical care designed specifically for those approaching the last stages of life. It encourages the continuation of a meaningful life in the presence of a terminal illness.
For nearly 30 years, CKHS has operated a successful home-based hospice service. Now, with the addition of a 10-bed inpatient unit—the Crozer-Keystone Hospice Residence at Taylor Hospital—Crozer-Keystone can offer these services to patients in our communities who are terminally ill but require hospitalization. “Ideally, most hospice patients prefer to receive care in the comfort of their homes,” says Jane Hanahan, director of Home Care and Hospice for Crozer-Keystone Health System. “For some, however, complicated symptom management or an unexpected family breakdown requires the services that only a hospital-based unit can provide.”
The unit at Taylor, which opened its doors in February, offers generously sized patient rooms tastefully decorated to simulate a home-like environment. Each room has a full-size bureau, armoire, private bathroom and a seating area. An activity room, located in a separate part of the unit, provides a place of respite and reflection through a collection of books, movies and games. The unit also has a dining room, laundry room, kitchenette and guest shower. Patients can even be visited by their furry family members. “These amenities are for the patient as well as their family or caregivers,” Hanahan says. “Crozer-Keystone Hospice provides comfort care to all members of the family.”
Hospice care is provided through an interdisciplinary team approach to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and their family. The team includes physicians, nurses, a social worker, therapists, home health aides and volunteers. The goal is to keep the patient as comfortable as possible while managing their pain and symptoms.
Patients on the Hospice unit benefit from the hospital’s Meditation Room, peace garden, and the 100th anniversary garden. Constructed in 2010 in honor of the hospital’s 100th anniversary, the garden is adjacent to the hospital on Bartol Avenue and includes local plantings and stone as well as medicinal plants. Family members can take a break by strolling Ridley Park’s beautiful streets, or by shopping in the quaint boutique shops and dining at local restaurants that are all within walking distance of the hospital.
“As a health system, Crozer-Keystone continually looks to grow and enhance the services that we offer our community,” says Diane Miller, president of Taylor Hospital. “What makes the inpatient Hospice unit at Taylor unique is that its vision has been led by those within the Crozer-Keystone Health System and Taylor Hospital. The unit will be staffed by nurses employed by Taylor. The doctors providing care have been practicing in our community for a very long time. And the layout of the unit has benefitted from the input of people right here at the hospital. People here feel a connection to and ownership of this program.
“It takes a special type of person to provide hospice care,” Hanahan continues. “Most of our staff have been here for many years. They embrace our goal, despite the fact that it is a very difficult time for the family. They appreciate being able to help the families, and the families appreciate them back. It is a very rewarding experience.”
To learn more about hospice care, click on the Services tab at www.crozerkeystone.org and select Hospice.
Photo Caption: Crozer-Keystone recently held an open house to celebrate the opening of its Hospice Residence at Taylor Hospital. Hundreds of people attended the event and took a tour of the beautiful, home-like environment. Pictured from left to right are: Carrie Baxter, director of Hospice Volunteers; Stephen Shore, M.D., CKHS medical oncologist; Kris Creighton, assistant vice president of Operations, Taylor Hospital; Robert Roush, M.D., associate medical director of the Crozer-Keystone Hospice Residence; Michael Soojian, M.D., medical director of the Hospice Residence; Diane Miller, president of Taylor Hospital; Linda Gosser, director of CKHS Hospice; Judy Lieberman, director of Volunteer Services, Taylor Hospital; and Jane Hanahan, director of Home Care and Hospice for CKHS.