September 17th, 2007

The new Great River Hospice House will open its doors for public tours from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled at 1:15 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

Great River Hospice House is located at 1306 Washington Rd., West Burlington, on the west side of Great River Medical Center’s campus. There is limited parking at the house. A shuttle will be available from the hospital’s employee parking lot on Agency Road. Signs will be posted.

The 8,500-square-foot hospice house was announced in 2006. Construction began in November. The exterior and interior feature a lodge and mission-style theme with soft, natural colors. A walkway and several gardens surround the house.

Each of the six patient and family rooms features:
• A fireplace
• Homelike furniture, including a sofa-sleeper, comfortable chairs, lamps
• A laptop hookup
• Natural woodwork
• A private deck
• A skylight

Whirlpool baths and massages will be available for patients in the spa room. Patient meals will be prepared to order in the house’s staff kitchen.

Common areas for families include:
• Dining room
• Great room with a large stone fireplace
• Indoor and outdoor children’s play areas
• Kitchen
• Laundry room
• Serenity room

The offices of Great River Home Health Care and Hospice are located on the lower level.

Patients who are admitted to Great River Hospice have terminal illnesses and six months or less to live as determined by their physicians. Diagnoses include cancer, AIDS, end-stage heart, lung or renal disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other life-limiting diseases.

A hospice house provides 24-hour clinical care but also functions and feels like a home. The hospice house will provide three levels of care:

• Inpatient acute care—For pain and symptom management that can’t be provided in another setting. This care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans.
• Respite care—Patients may stay for up to five days at a time so at-home caregivers can have a break. This care also is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans.
• Residential care—For patients who want to spend the remainder of their lives in the hospice house. This care is not covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans, but financial assistance will be available for those who qualify.

Great River Hospice House is scheduled to open for patients Wednesday, Oct. 3. Donor opportunities are available. For more information about Great River Hospice and the hospice house, please call (319) 768-3350.