Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 21, 2013

Oddfellow facility launches hospice unit

Staff reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation and Health Care Center is hosting its own hospice unit in collaboration with Niagara Hospice, administrators announced recently.

The newly renovated unit, named Rebekah’s Pathway, has nine dedicated beds for OFR residents in need of hospice care. The unit contains one private room, four double rooms, a lounge area, a hospitality room for patients to receive family visitors privately, and a furnished outdoor courtyard.

OFR staff have completed specialized training with a Niagara Hospice team so that they’re able to address the special needs of residents nearing the end of life.

Hospice is a way of caring for people who have end-of-life illnesses, and supporting their family and loved ones. Niagara Hospice, the only hospice provider in Niagara County, has been providing end-of-life care to residents since 1988 and currently serves up to 155 patients per day.

Odd Fellow & Rebekah Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, sponsored by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, provides long-term care and rehabilitation services as well as respite care at a facility on Old Niagara Road.

“We have had a positive working relationship with Niagara Hospice for a number of years and both organizations have a strong sense of pride and a desire to honor our similar values,” Eugene Urban, OFR health care center administrator/CEO, said. “We believe that health care is local and it is our responsibility to provide our community with the best possible quality of care; and to deliver that care with the utmost respect, compassion and dignity.”

Reduced hospitalizations and fewer emergency room visits are among the benefits for residents admitted to Rebekah’s Pathway, according to Urban.

Each resident in the hospice unit has an individual care plan developed to meet his or her physical, spiritual and psychosocial needs and maximize their quality of life, health care center spokesman Lisa Lundy said. Niagara Hospice contributes additional staff, resources and services to residents and their family members.

“The addition of Rebekah’s Pathway fills a need in the eastern end of the county for our most seriously ill residents. By concentrating hospice services in one location we are able to ensure the gold standard of care for every patient, every family, every time,” John Lomeo, Niagara Hospice president and CEO, said. “These individuals deserve our best, and together we accomplish that mission.”

Hospice services are being provided at Rebekah’s Pathway while finishing touches are applied at the renovated unit. A celebratory “grand opening” is set for early February.

According to OFR health care center staff, hospice care is appropriate for patients when the prognosis is about six months or less to live if a disease runs its normal course. Many patients live longer and can continue to receive hospice care by meeting criteria set by Medicare.