St. Mary's Hospice House provides inpatient and respite comfort care for patients of all ages who have life-limiting illnesses and can no longer remain at home.
"When the patient's care needs are beyond what the family can manage, or when the family needs a break, our Hospice House can provide the care they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Karen Joyce, RN, Director of St. Mary's Home Health Care/Hospice Services.
The 7,500-square foot facility encompasses 12 private patient rooms in a comforting environment. Each room features home-like décor, with sophisticated medical equipment hidden away until needed. Patients can come for a few days while their caregivers rest, or be admitted for inpatient care. Families are encouraged to spend time with their loved ones, with plenty of space for visiting in the patient's room, private visiting areas, and in common areas such as a dining room and library.
The Hospice House is located on the peaceful campus of St. Mary's Highland Hills Village retirement community in Bogart. Just minutes from major highways, shopping centers and places of worship, the wooded, 66-acre campus is beautifully landscaped and well-maintained to provide a soothing natural environment for residents, patients, families and staff. A small chapel near the Hospice House provides a private location for prayer and contemplation.
St. Mary's Hospice Services have been providing home-based care to patients and their families in a 13-county area surrounding Athens since 1990. Staff includes nurses, social workers, aides and a chaplain. In addition, specially trained volunteers help with everything from being a friendly, listening presence to raising funds to letting exhausted families have a few hours of rest.
"In my years in hospice, I have seen many situations where a Hospice House was needed and not available. We see children trying to care for dying adults, working parents caring for children with terminal illnesses, and patients without caregivers or support in the home. It is a blessing that we have a quality facility in the Athens area that can help these patients and their families," she said.
St. Mary's Hospice House is the product of a long and on-going collaboration between the hospice staff and St. Mary's leadership, Foundation and Auxiliary. "This is a true community endeavor," Joyce says. "Because of the support we have received, we are able to bring this important level of care to our community."
Ongoing fundraising projects include the Auxiliary's Hospice House Thrift Store on West Broad Street in Athens, the Auxiliary's Love Light Campaign and the Walkway of Faith surrounding the Hospice House chapel.
Patients can be admitted to the Hospice House through physician referral or by assessment of the hospice staff to determine that the patient meets criteria. For more information, please call St. Mary's Hospice Services at 706.389.2273; from anywhere in Georgia outside the local Athens calling area, call toll-free at 1-800-822-3381.
St. Mary's Hospice House
1660 Jennings Mill Road
Watkinsville, GA 30622
If you are interested in learning how to become a Hospice Volunteer, please click here.