“Our Journey Home”
The Health care industry has slowly evolved into a conglomerate of specialty areas. The spectrum ranges from numerous areas focusing on (to name a few): ambulatory care, emergency care, gastro-enterology, neurology, gerontology, obstetrics etc. Since there has been so much growth within the health care industry, especially in long-term care, this facility realized that there was an urgent need in the area of End of Life care. Health care in the past has not been geared to satisfaction and needs of the consumer; the central point was and primarily still is a focus on clinical outcomes. During this time healthcare has experienced many changes; with a strong emphasis directed towards residents right’s and quality of life issues. This facility, being sensitive to the continuing needs of its residents, thought it appropriate to look at a specific localized area of concern.
Meadow Brook Medical Care Facility is a 133-bed long-term care facility, located in Bellaire, Michigan in the county of Antrim. The original structure was built in 1887 as the “county poor farm”. Creating a foundation for excellent care, Meadow Brook has continually evolved to meet the changing needs of its community, growing from the county poor farm into a small hospital, before ultimately adopting the final role in 1968 as a county medical care facility. Since that time the agency has been caring for the elderly and disabled. Residents are primarily eighty plus years in age, although the current population contains several residents below the age of fifty, a trend that will possibly rise in the years to come.
Statistics point out that over half the population by 2030 will be over age 65. As the need for long-term care will rise so will the issue of End of Life. Thus, an End of Life Program was created in an effort to provide the continuum of care our current residents deserve and our future residents will expect.
The End of Life Program is a person-centered program focusing on the following:
Each individual will be encouraged to express his/her own needs and desires during the end of life transition. Staff specially trained in End of Life care shall provide 24-hour support (i.e. nursing, social services and volunteers). Residents and families will have access to grief counseling, pain management, and meal service. Individual cultural/spiritual preferences will be respected and honored and resources will be pursued as requested by resident/family. Central location within the communities we serve will enhance the continuum of care.
A private, homelike setting will be provided to the resident and their family in an atmosphere fostering dignity, privacy, and personal space; allowing for and encouraging pets, children and friends.
In order to achieve excellence in maintaining the resident’s quality of life it is important to focus on the individual as a whole being. Encouraging and supporting each individual during their End of Life transition offers residents and their families significant opportunities for meaningful interaction on their journey together in celebration of a loved ones life.