Hospice: Sensitive Care for a Difficult Time


Childress & Cunningham is keenly aware that a well-planned facility design lends itself to more rewarding hospice care experiences.

Hospice differs from hospital care in three very distinct ways.  Firstly, the resident is provided care with an emphasis on comfort and quality of life, with less emphasis on cure or rehabilitation.  Secondly, the program invites and supports participation by family and friends in this emotionally sensitive time.  Thirdly, these differences express themselves throughout the design of the hospice facility in a way that reflects this heightened degree of meaningful relationships in a resident’s life.

To elevate the comfort level for the resident, the hospice facility is designed to be more residential and inviting,  The “clinical machine” feeling of a hospital gives way to a more personal, intimately scaled environment for the resident.

Rooms are private and reflect the size of a typical bedroom at home, with individual restrooms.  The decor is more traditional and familiar, sometimes using items and furniture provided by family.

For many of the best facilities, exterior courtyards, landscaping and walking paths provide a contemplative setting for the residents, as well as grieving family members.

As the resident is being cared for, there is much more involvement by friends and family who wish to spend time with their loved one than is typical for other types of care.  The hospice facility reflects this need by providing for extended stays by these visitors.  Therefore, in addition to the personal resident room, there is a need for comfortable semi-public living areas for the family, such as a living and dining room in the residential mode as well as a kitchen for their use.

A play/activity room for young children is also generally included, which may include entertainment options such as a home theater.  Also the hospice will provide more private family areas such as a bereavement room, chapel and family conference room to support family matters in a meaningful way.

Sensitivity to the situation being faced in hospice is paramount.  Services are provided discreetly.  Gurney transport of residents by the medical team must be accommodated separately from the public entrance to avoid undue stress to the bereaved or to other families using the facility.

Even the more day-to-day tasks are handled in a less obvious manner, such as food service delivery, so as not to disturb the resident and family. Nurse station supervision is integrated in the most residential setting possible.

At Childress & Cunningham we have experience in the issues revolving around this trying time in a family’s life, creating facilities that comfort and support families in a discreet and respectful manner.

Read more about this: Comfortable Care For You and Your Family

Robert Haldi
Latest posts by Robert Haldi (see all)