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New residential hospice facility to open later this year

Hospice of Kitsap County plans to supplement its home-care program with an in-patient residential hospice care facility to open before the end of 2007.

The Care Center will be located at 570 Lebo Boulevard in East Bremerton, near Harrison Medical Center.

It will create a comfortable atmosphere where patients can enjoy being with family and loved ones.

Each of the 15 private patient studios will feature individual bathrooms, kitchenettes and accommodations for overnight guests.

Families and loved ones will be able to enjoy the Care Center’s kitchen, dining room, chapel/meditation room and sitting rooms with areas for visiting children to play.

The Care Center will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently, those in need of hospice services have the choice of care at home, in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities or wherever they reside.

The Care Center will provide a home away from home when home may not be the best option.

The center is a response to Kitsap County’s rapidly aging population. Over the next three years, Kitsap’s population of adults 45 and older is expected to grow by nearly 16 percent, and the population of seniors age 65 and older by 14 percent.

Currently, Hospice of Kitsap County cares for more than 450 patients each year, 82 percent of whom are over the age of 65.

Hospice of Kitsap County estimates the Care Center will double the number of patients and family members served each year.

The Center will offer the much-needed alternative to home, hospital or nursing home care in the final stages of life.

Unlike long-term care facilities designed for years of care with an overall goal to rehabilitate patients and hospitals geared toward providing acute care for optimal wellness, hospice care is solely focused on end-of-life care and strives to help patients and their families accept the end stages of life.

The intention is to provide patients with the ability to live their last days fully, cherishing each day and saying good-bye to their loved ones with peace and dignity.

At the same time, expert medical resources will ensure the highest possible level of care.

The Hospice of Kitsap County Care Center is being funded through a capital campaign with a goal to raise $1 million. The campaign has already amassed donations and pledges of more than $500,000, including a lead gift of $100,000 from the Rotary Club of Silverdale, a $75,000 grant from the Ben B. Cheney Foundation, and nearly $70,000 from the Hospice of Kitsap County Board of Trustees and staff members.

For more information about the Hospice of Kitsap County Care Center and the Care Center Capital Campaign, call Valerie Youngren (360) 698-4611 or visit online at www.hospiceofkitsapcounty.org.

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