- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The four-year campaign to build a Hospice House might have ended Wednesday as the brand-new $2.2 million building was dedicated, but what begins now is a new chapter for the Hospice of Charles County.
The hospice began its good work in the county 30 years ago providing quality end-of-life care for terminally ill people. Since its inception, the group and its staff have been helping those reaching the end of their lives as well as their families. Hospice care often allows people who are terminally ill to spend their last days in their homes, with the assistance of doctors, nurses, home health aides, social workers, bereavement counselors, chaplains and other volunteer support.
Now the Charles County hospice has opened a 10-bed center, a place where people can go when they can no longer be cared for at home 24 hours a day by an aging spouse or their family members. Without going to a nursing home or returning to the hospital, they now have a place where friends and family will be welcome, and where the burdens of their care can be handled by professionals in a homelike setting.
Plans are to move the first patients in by July 1.
Hospice staff members and volunteers have made the final days of hundreds of people easier to bear. And it is good to know that the work will continue to help county residents before and after the deaths of their loved ones.
The list of people, agencies, businesses, clubs and organizations who were thanked at Wednesday’s ceremony is obviously too long to publish here, but is a testament to how strongly the citizens believe in hospice care and wanted this project to be completed. Government helped, too. Charles County donated a 30-year lease on five acres of land in Waldorf near North Point High School on Davis Road where the beautiful building now rests. The state legislature awarded grant money to the project as well.
It was a huge project, one that had been part of the organization’s long-range plans, perhaps made easier by the broad support hospice receives in the community. Hospice thrives because so many people have recognized that there is a real need for the services that are offered.
Though the Charles County Hospice House is completed, it still will take money to keep it running in the future. Hospice officials say they need another $2.8 million for endowment, maintenance and assistance for people who need hospice services, but can’t afford them. There always will be a need for donations. For more information on how to help, go to www.CharlesCountyHospiceHouse.com or call 301-861-5300.