It started with compassion. The dream was to create a home-like environment to provide compassionate care to patients and support to families as they faced the end of life. In 2001, the community came together with Visiting Nurse to construct Hospice Home on Homestead Road, the only free-standing hospice facility in Northeast Indiana. Visiting Nurse is a 133-year-old nonprofit hospice and palliative care agency dedicated to providing compassion, comfort and guidance through life’s journey.

Since then, Hospice Home has provided care and support for over 10,000 individuals ranging in age from 5 months to 103. The ripple of impact in our community from those over 10,000 individuals served is immense, as each family and friend of that loved one was also supported by Visiting Nurse. If you have had a loved one cared for at Hospice Home, you may have experienced the extended love and care that the Visiting Nurse team provided to your entire family.

Hospice Home is a 14-bed hospice inpatient unit that has a much different feel from other health care settings. It has family gathering areas, set up much like a living room in someone’s home, a kitchen, sunroom, chapel-like reflection room and conference areas as well. It is staffed with dedicated registered nurses, CNAs, chaplains, social workers and volunteers who help families navigate these difficult times. Outside Hospice Home are walking trails, a restored prairie and numerous gardens, providing respite for families whose loved ones are being treated at Hospice Home. Each patient room faces a garden, and most have bird feeders within sight of the patient’s bed, giving a view of peace and tranquility.

Hospice care, both in a patient’s home or at Hospice Home, is the model of high-quality, compassionate care that helps patients and families live as fully as possible. The focus is on caring, not curing. Hospice utilizes an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals and trained volunteers that address symptom control, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support expressly tailored to the patient’s needs and wishes. Hospice cares for more than 1.65 million Americans, and their families, every year — a number that continues to grow.

Individuals come to Hospice Home through a few different paths. Perhaps the patient is at a hospital, and it is decided that they would benefit from 24-hour care by hospice professionals to help manage symptoms and provide comfort. Another way is when a patient who may already be receiving hospice services in their home has symptoms that become unmanageable.

Visiting Nurse can then transfer them to Hospice Home to better manage those symptoms and ensure that the patient is comfortable and supported. This focus on comfort allows families to have meaningful moments with their loved one, so they can focus on what really matters at the end of life. Families and loved ones are welcome to visit 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In 20 years, a facility like Hospice Home experiences wear and tear. We are taking the opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of this community gem to raise funds to renovate and restore the building so we can continue for the next 20 years.

We are thankful to the many individuals, businesses and foundations that have joined with us to renovate this community facility. As we celebrate National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, we want to honor the history of Hospice Home and the love and support from the community that made it happen through the past two decades.

Thank you for your support.

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