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Questions? We have answers…

What is a home for the dying (also known as a comfort care home)?

A Home for the Dying is a community supported home-like residence for individuals enrolled in hospice services who have a life-expectancy of three months or less to live. A small staff and trained volunteer caregivers serve as an extended or surrogate family,  providing round-the-clock care and support to residents and their loved ones. Typically, a resident’s family members are welcomed into the home to visit and spend time with their dying loved one. A guest bedroom may be available for that purpose.

What is hospice?

Hospice is not a place. It is a service provided by health professionals and trained volunteers to assure comfort and dignity to terminally ill patients, primarily by controlling their pain and helping them to remain as alert as possible through medical, emotional, and spiritual means. These services are delivered 24/7 on call, wherever the patient resides—a private residence, a nursing facility, or a designated hospital-based hospice unit. Hospice is typically provided to people who, no longer benefitting from curative treatment, have a life expectancy of six months or less. It stresses the nurturing of quality of life, peace, and safe pain management.

What is the difference between hospice and a Home for the Dying?

A home for the dying is not a hospice; it is a place that looks and feels like an ordinary home. Residents and their guests can make use of the whole home and garden. The setting provides a sense of everydayness, compatible with hospice philosophy and the preferences of patients and families. It is a home-away-from-home for hospice patients who are either unable to remain in their own home, who lack a home of their own, or who choose not to be in an institutional setting.

What is the cost?

CFD offers this service to our residents at no cost.

How is Circle Home funded?

Circle of Friends for Dying does not receive any government or private insurance reimbursement. Circle Home will be financially supported by community fund-raising, grants, memorials, endowments, and contributions from community members, local businesses, residents, and their families.

How are Circle Home residents selected?

Prospective residents will have the following:

  • Diagnosis of terminal illness with no expectation of recovery
  • Prognosis of three months or less to live
  • Enrollment in services with Hudson Valley Hospice prior to or upon entry to the home
  • Do Not Resuscitate order in place, i.e. no life sustaining measures will be done (for example: no CPR)
  • No extraordinary care needs: we are unable to provide IV therapy or feeding tubes and cannot manage difficult behaviors
  • Medication needs can be administered orally, rectally, topically (patch), or by pump
  • Understanding that the CFD Home is not a medical facility
  • Understanding that the CFD Home is primarily staffed by trained volunteers
  • Ability to be safely and comfortably managed by staff and volunteers

With the above criteria in mind, resident selection is based on the person with the greatest need and fewest options. Admission is not determined by age, creed, color, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs.In order to provide care for as many people as possible who are in need, the maximum length of stay is limited to 3 months.

Why only two beds?

In New York State, a facility with more than two beds is considered an institution rather than a residence. In terms of quality of care, having fewer beds suggests the potential for a higher quality of care for residents and their loved ones.

Does Circle Home serve the community in any other way?

In the past decade, CFD has engaged many others in joining the project. As a vehicle for education, the organization has presented vital information about dying and death through speaking engagements, tabling at public events, and hosting Death Cafes throughout Ulster County.

CFD hopes to make Jim and Lisa’s Circle Home a center for death literacy, where educational training and events, community programs, and connective opportunities with other organizations can be held. A library will hold a wealth of literature about dying and death, and living well in full awareness of our mortality. It will serve as a model and a resource center for promoting community-based end-of-life care solutions, public and professional learning opportunities, inter-generational volunteerism, and environmental stewardship, and will inspire grassroots initiatives in surrounding communities.

How can I help CFD?

Register on our volunteer page or give us a call at 845 802-0970 to get involved. All are welcome.

Are there other homes like this one?

Yes. Started in 1984 in Rochester, this model of care continues to flourish in that region and has since spread to other areas in northern New York. People prefer a Home located close to their own home and social network. There are currently more than thirty such Homes in New York State. Circle Home will be the first to open in the Mid-Hudson Valley region.

The NYS Homes are part of a larger grassroots movement called “Omega Homes,” located nationwide, comprised of independent nonprofit Homes dedicated to improving the end-of-life experience for individuals and families.