Expansion of Hospice of Jefferson County nearly complete

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 4:23 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Hospice of Jefferson County will soon be able to care for more people who are at the end of their lives.

After half a decade of planning and work to expand hospice, the project is nearly complete.

“We’ve carried the look of the current addition so it really is going to be seamless,” said CEO Diana Woodhouse.

The project will add four new bedrooms to the property. That will allow hospice to house a total of 12 patients on-site.

According to staff, that means fewer people will end up on a waiting list.

“It doesn’t matter the amount. It’s the fact that we cannot admit patients that need to come here. Many of those patients die waiting to come here which is heartbreaking for us,” said Woodhouse.

In appearance, the rooms will be nearly identical to the ones already in the building

“There will be a patient bed, a sofa, a recliner, a built-in storage area with a TV above it,” said Woodhouse.

But there are a few differences. For one, the walls will receive soundproofing which allows for more privacy.

“This is going to be an acoustically rated glass door. What this allows us to do is admit patients with advanced dementia behaviors that may be vocal in nature,” said Woodhouse.

A new ventilation system has also been put in to keep visitors safe if the patient they’re visiting has COVID.

“This is end-of-life care and it’s very important to maintain those patient-family relationships. This enhanced ventilation system which did add to the cost of the building. We think was the right decision for our community,” said Woodhouse.

The community is helping with that increased cost; part of the project was funded through donations. According to staff, many donors have had family in hospice.

“I will be eternally grateful for the amount of love and care and support we’ve gotten from our community,” said Woodhouse.

The project is set to be completed by the end of 2022. After that, hospice plans to touch up its original 8 rooms.