Respite Care for Non-Hospice Patients

Trillium House, the U.P.’s only hospice home has broadened the scope of its respite program to help more families struggling to care for a loved one.  “Hospice patients who need our care will always be Trillium House’s mission and focus.  After a year of experience and much discussion, we concluded Trillium can also help more families who need care on a short-term basis,” explained Dr. Aaron Scholnik, Trillium’s board president.

Trillium is an eight-room hospice home that opened in Marquette in 2018.  The home has cared for 65 local hospice patients and their families.  Its staff of care aides and volunteers provide residential care including meals, assistance with medications, personal daily care, and peace of mind.  Occupancy at the house so far as shown that one to two rooms have been regularly available.

The initiation of this additional service springs from families with a loved one who is not yet enrolled in a hospice program reaching out to Trillium House.   At those times, however, Trillium could only accept those formally enrolled in hospice care who needed a safe and comfortable home during their hospice journey or those needing a short term respite stay for a hospice patient. From these calls it became clear these families were struggling with the same issues of worry, lack of sleep, and the heavy physical demands of caring for a sick person 24 hours a day that families of hospice patients experience.

Hospice patients who need our care will always be Trillium House’s mission and focus.  After a year of experience and much discussion, we concluded Trillium can also help more families who need care on a short-term basis, explained Dr. Aaron Scholnik, Trillium’s board president.

Trillium’s volunteer Board of Directors decided it could follow the lead of a sister home, Omega House in Houghton, by being available to non-hospice guests for short-term stays of three to seven days.  Omega House started a respite program like this about two years ago. It’s been very well received there. It just makes sense to use this welcoming home the best we can. This new option is for families who have decided that hospice isn’t an option yet, but they struggle with the exact same challenges.  When this decision was shared with home health agencies and UP Health System staff it received a highly positive response. The need for more options for these families is a real one in the area.

Hospice patients are prioritized for admission meaning respite stays will be accepted only as rooms are available.  The fee for respite care is $175 a day.

We work so closely with the medical hospice providers and hospital we have a really good idea of the day a new Resident will come to live with us. We’ll provide respite care when we’re confident we’ll have a room available for that stay, Bray said.

For more information, contact Trillium House at 906-264-5026 or info@trilliumhospicehouse.org.

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