Hospice of North Idaho will be able to support more families on their end of life journeys when Schneidmiller House expands in early 2019.
The only hospice inpatient unit in Idaho, Schneidmiller House offers 24-hour skilled care. It features private rooms with accommodation for overnight guests, access to outdoor patios and garden space, a shared family kitchen and other amenities to create a comfortable, homelike setting for hospice patients and their families.
The $1.8 million, 5,000-square-foot expansion will include seven new patient rooms, a laundry facility and more space for families. Architects West designed the addition; Young Construction will build it.
Schneidmiller House currently operates at 85 percent capacity. As the population of people 65 and older increases, so will the need for hospice care, making now an ideal time to prepare for the future.
“The expansion is going to allow us to have more inpatient stays for end of life care,” said Kim Ransier, executive director of Hospice of North Idaho. “The community places a high value on a peaceful death, and that is what our goal is.”
In fact, Ransier said that Hospice of North Idaho cares for around 56 percent of all deaths in Kootenai County. They also support families in Shoshone and Benewah counties.
“When people need help, they know we’re here to help them,” she said. “We don’t turn anyone away.”
November is Hospice and Palliative Care Month. It’s also the beginning of the holiday season, which Ransier said is an ideal time for families to gather and discuss end of life wishes.
Death may be an awkward subject for the Thanksgiving dinner table, Ransier said, but it’s important for families to have these conversations before a crisis.
“Take time to talk about your future, what your mother’s plans are, what’s on the bucket list,” she said. “We have a lot of knowledge and expertise on how to have those difficult conversations.”