ANN ARBOR – The Residence of Arbor Hospice, an inpatient hospice unit located at 440 W. Russell St. in Saline, Mich., is facing a room and board shortfall – and is looking to the community to help raise important funds so it can continue providing essential end-of-life care for Medicaid patients receiving routine home care.
Medicaid patients receiving hospice routine home care services currently make up 70% of all patients who receive routine home care at The Residence of Arbor Hospice. Medicaid hospice room and board reimbursement is funded through a special grant program and has an annual cap amount for each hospice inpatient unit across the state which means Arbor Hospice is in danger of not being able to provide its critical end-of-life care services for Medicaid room and board patients.
“Arbor Hospice has continued to endure the frequent changes in Medicaid and Medicare structures – because, quite frankly, The Residence of Arbor Hospice is an important asset, and the families in our community need it,” said Patty Davis, clinical director for Arbor Hospice. “It’s the only one of its type in the community, and people are proud of it, having witnessed firsthand the exceptional end-of-life care that is provided here. We’re committed to the community, and will continue to do what is right and decent for patients and their families.”
A pillar throughout the greater Ann Arbor area, The Residence of Arbor Hospice has been serving hospice patients and their families across Washtenaw County and surrounding communities since 1998. It provides essential resources for families who can no longer take care of loved ones safely and effectively at home – offering short-term inpatient care to effectively manage pain and symptoms in a comfortable, supportive environment. It is also more economical for patients to receive care at The Residence of Arbor Hospice as opposed to another long-term care facility.
The Residence of Arbor Hospice provides a full range of expert physical and emotional care and support in a comfortable, homelike setting and is designed to help hospice patients live life to the fullest. The extensive medical support and attention that The Residence of Arbor hospice provides allows the not-for-profit to take on more complex end-of-life cases – which lets patients, and their families, focus on enjoying their final days together in peace and comfort.
In the past two years, Wesley and Barbara Prater of Saline have had two of their children pass away peacefully at The Residence of Arbor Hospice, including their 46-year-old son, D.J., who died of colon cancer. An hour after D.J.’s passing, they learned their other son, Jack, who was already battling Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder, had been diagnosed with brain cancer.
“Jack prided himself on working and living independently, so he didn’t want to ask for any help before or after he got sick,” recalls Barbara Prater about her son. “In fact, he drove himself to the ER after he passed out in the shower one day because he didn’t want me to worry about him.”
Barbara and Wesley cared for Jack at home for as long as they could – and when it finally became too difficult to take care of him themselves, they transferred him to The Residence of Arbor Hospice to live out his final days in peace and comfort.
“The care Jack received at The Residence of Arbor Hospice was so wonderful – you’d think he was the only patient there,” Wesley Prater said. “There are simply not enough good words to say about all the amazing things the staff did for my son to make his last days on this Earth the best they could possibly be.”
Stories about The Residence of Arbor Hospice from families like the Prater’s are plentiful – but Arbor Hospice needs support from the community to continue providing essential end-of-life care to its Medicaid room and board patients. Despite applying for and receiving a small number of other grants, the financial need to operate The Residence of Arbor Hospice gets greater over time, and there is a delicate balance of providing high-quality care within a comforting and supportive environment – especially as the cost of care continues to rise.
Arbor Hospice will host a safe, socially distant ‘Heroes for Arbor Hospice’ golf outing on Tuesday, June 22 at the Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti, Mich. to benefit The Residence of Arbor Hospice. Tickets are $250 for each golfer and include 18 holes of golf with cart, along with breakfast, lunch and non-alcoholic beverages. For more information on tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kim Streich at (734) 794-5120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate to The Residence of Arbor Hospice, please visit www.arborhospice.org/donate.
About Arbor Hospice
Arbor Hospice, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, provides quality, compassionate care for those experiencing life-limiting illnesses throughout Washtenaw County and surrounding communities. A founding member of the NorthStar Care Community, Arbor offers certified community-based and inpatient hospice services and palliative care through NorthStar Palliative Care, as well as grief support services and community education programs. Through other NorthStar Care Community members, Arbor also provides pediatric hospice care and compassionate support services through Jo Elyn Nyman Anchors Programs for Children and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through the NorthStar Institute. The NorthStar Care Community also includes Hospice of Michigan. In total, NorthStar Care Community members serve nearly 5,100 patients annually across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For more information, visit www.arborhospice.org or call 888-992-2273.