Hospice of Philadelphia offers quiet place

June 14, 2009 11:07:21 AM PDT
The Visiting Nurses have long helped patients coming to the ends of their lives. Now, they have a comforting new place for their care.

The 6th floor of the old Medical College of Pennsylvania is now the Hospice of Philadelphia.

It is the city's first free-standing in-patient hospice, created by the Visiting Nurses Association.

Jane Feinman, R.N., M.S.N., the senior vice-president of the hospice, says, "It's not in a hospital, it's not in a healthcare institution, so it's away from the hustle & bustle of the general healthcare environment. So we can really promote tranquility and a homelike environment."

That includes a comfortable living room where families can spend time with their loved ones.

And there's a full kitchen, allowing families to make and and eat meals together.

But doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are there round-the-clock, to make sure patients are comfortable during their last days.

The care includes more than medicine.

"We provide a lot of other services - music therapy, art therapy, bereavement help, chaplains, social workers," says Feinman.

The Hospice is also close to mass transit, making it easier for families to visit. The goal is to serve residents of East Falls, Mt. Airy, Chestnut Hill, Manayunk, and Roxborough. However, Feinman expects patients from North Philadelphia, Germantown, and other neighborhoods will also use it.

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