End-Of-Life Hospice Facility Coming To Eastern Kentucky

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

It could make all the difference in the last hours of your loved one's life, but it comes with a price tag.

Hospice of the Bluegrass officials say a new end-of-life hospice facility is in Perry County's future and could serve thousands of patients in the mountains.

Hospice of the Bluegrass Mountain Community Director Monica Couch says she speaks from personal experience about taking care of a loved one in the days and hours before death.

“In the end of life the comfort of being in your own home is sometimes the most important thing to a lot of people,” Monica Couch said.

At Tuesday's Breathitt County Fiscal Court meeting, Couch explained that for those whose condition doesn't allow them to stay at home, the next best thing is the inpatient hospice in Lexington.

That trip is more than a two hour drive for many Eastern Kentuckians.

“When someone has only days or hours to live, a two hour travel time is a huge burden on them,” Couch said.

Couch says the solution is a hospice facility to be built in Hazard, serving Perry, Breathitt, Knott, Letcher, and Leslie Counties.

Breathitt's Fiscal Court is the third to approve Couch's request to help fund the project.

“They served 48 Breathitt Countians last year. Those people are individuals that are ready to die and that's a real good program for that individual and their families,” Harvey Jason Richardson said.

Estimates to complete the project range from five to six million dollars, and a portion of that would come from the five counties served.

Couch says the project is still in its planning stages, but state and federal funding is also an option.

Officials say it's too early to know how soon construction will begin on the new hospice, but they say it will sit next to the Hazard ARH.

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