During one of the hardest times, people now have place to go for the first time. The Hospice of Western Kentucky, opens The Heartford House in Owensboro. It's the only hospice of it's kind in Western Kentucky. They opened to the public for the first time this weekend. Organizers say The Heartford House is special because it is the first free standing inpatient hospice facility in Western Kentucky. Its goal is to give patients a feeling of peace during a challenging time.
Families facing incurable illness suffer a depth of pain that often cannot be described, but the tenderness of loss weighs heavy on their hearts. Sharon Chanley is among more than four-hundred people touring Owensboro's new Heartford House. She's searching for a place her aging mother could someday call home. Chanley says she feels welcome here. "Comfort, easy transition, it's warm, and appealing," says Chanley.
Heartford House is a non profit facility. The hospice is separate of a nursing home or hospital, tucked away on ten acres of land, complete with a walking trail and pond. "I couldn't even invision where this could be because this land has been hidden. I think it's been hidden for a purpose and we are getting to tour the purpose," says Chanley. "We looked, and we looked, and we looked," says Hospice of Western Kentucky CEO, Rod McFain. He says it's a ten year dream come true for the board. A group of men and women taking on the challenge of comforting families when solace seems out of reach. "I think it will be great for the families and the patients," says McFain. Every room overlooks a view, and friends and family can visit patients twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. "That's what we want to create, is a home away from home," says McFain.
A feeling of home for guests, and employees like Jeanette Curtis. "It feels like home. We want everybody who comes through our front doors to feel the same way." Curtis says The Heartford House gives her a chance to give the type of care she couldn't provide at other facilities. "I knew I would have more time to be with the patients and the families, and together we would be able to build a foundation and go from there," says Curtis.
The group says they hope to give families with heavy hearts a level of comfort, as their loved ones walk through the final phase of life, so Western Kentucky families, like Chanley and her mother, have a familiar place to turn should health take a turn for the worse. The facility will officially open officially this Tuesday.