MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital in Mattoon is set to open a new hospice house and they will unveil it to the public ahead of operations starting.
Hospital officials have been planning to open the house for more than five years. They found around-the-clock care in a home-like setting was needed in the area.
After delays caused by COVID, ground was finally broken last year and now, Willow Breeze will start accepting patients next month.
Manager Jenn Roberts said her hospice house is different than others she’s visited.
“Not only meeting their physical needs, making sure they’re not hurting, they’re not struggling to breathe, but also making sure their emotional needs are met,” Roberts said.
Roberts said care at Willow Breeze will be holistic. Not for just one person, but the whole family.
“When you’re taking care of a loved one, someone needs to take care of you, too,” she said. “So we’re happy to do that for the families and the patients.”
The building was made in the craftsman style, giving it a homey feel. There are eight apartments for tenants, with nice comfy beds, plenty of seating for family, and even handcrafted quilts that are locally made. There’s also a library, large kitchen, fireplace and a fountain with a walking path in the back.
“We worked with the architects and their design team to pick fabrics and colors and tones that would be current,” said Patty Robertson, SBL Director of Communications.
Robertson said they will start taking tenants in late November. Anyone who has a six-month terminal diagnosis can stay in the house on a first-come, first-serve basis. The community can check it out Sunday during an open house from 12 to 3 p.m.
“Maybe one day, somebody in their family might have to use it and it’s available for them, and they’ll know what we have to offer,” Robertson said.
Roberts’ passion is hospice care, and she looks forward to providing that care at Willow Breeze.
“It’s an experience you only go through one time,’ she said. “And to make that the best possible experience for the patient and the family is our whole mission here at Sarah Bush Lincoln hospice. So very excited to do that here.”
Roberts added that insurance should cover the costs for care. Without it, rooms will cost about $275 per night and will need to be covered by the tenant, but no one will be turned away. More than $3 million in endowment funds will cover people who need help paying.
The house will be also to serve Coles County and 20 others in Central Illinois.