ThedaCare Inpatient Hospice has Helped 2,749 Families
This month ThedaCare marks the 15th anniversary of Cherry Meadows inpatient hospice. The only freestanding general inpatient care hospice in northeast Wisconsin, Cherry Meadows is located inside Peabody Manor in south Appleton and features 10 private rooms, 24-hour hospice trained staffing, and unlimited visiting hours.
Cherry Meadows is uniquely equipped to care for people at the end of their lives, said Teri Metropulos, manager of hospice service at ThedaCare At Home. “We have effective systems in place to help patients manage their pain so they can participate in activities that add meaning and quality to their lives. Our focus is to help manage critical end-of-life symptoms with equipment and expertise similar to a hospital setting, but in a warmer, much more home-like environment.”
Since its inception, Cherry Meadows has cared for 2,749 patients and families. It was constructed in 2001 as part of ThedaCare’s comprehensive approach to address the healthcare needs of all people from birth to natural end-of-life. “Surveys tell us that 88 percent of people do not want to die in a hospital, but most do. Cherry Meadows is an option for people who need that same level of support, but in a setting that feels more like home,” said Metropulos. Medicare also typically covers five days of respite care per month to relieve a patient’s in-home caregiver.
Activities like therapeutic massage, pet therapy, and story collecting at Cherry Meadows are supported by ThedaCare Hospice Foundation. Residents of Cherry Meadows, including respite guests, also have access to the on-site spa. The spa is equipped with a lift and staff to facilitate the bathing experience for patients who have trouble accessing a shower or bathtub. According to Metropulos, warm water and buoyancy, together with soothing music and lighting, help boost patients’ moods.
The inpatient hospice is staffed by registered nurses, CNAs, a social worker, and chaplain. A team of four physicians alternates daily rounds, and an active volunteer corps is present at all meal times and for special events and activities. Families of patients at Cherry Meadows also receive mental health care and emotional support as they experience a loved one’s end of life.
For more than 100 years, ThedaCare™ has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The organization serves over 200,000 patients annually and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals throughout the region. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 34 clinics in 14 counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service. For more information, visit www.thedacare.org or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.