A new, 16-suite building opened in Manhattan Beach on June 30, providing hospice care for terminally ill children.
The site, called Sixteen Lights and operated by MJHS, is located on the Menorah campus at 1516 Oriental Boulevard, wedged between Kingsborough Community College and Manhattan Beach Park.
Wall Street Journal reports:
The 16-suite building will cater to younger patients, offering a playroom, a playground and a homelike atmosphere with kitchens where parents who live there with their children can cook.
“The sad part is that today in our community, other than using a hospital-bed setting there really is no extended-stay place that a family can go to be with a child,” said Eli Feldman, MJHS’s chief executive. “It’s just not natural that a child dies before their parents.”
… MJHS was started by four Brooklyn women in 1907 to take care of the elderly. Its budget has grown to $1.1 billion from $45 million in the past four decades.
Dying adults also will be able to stay there. Their foundation paid the $7 million cost of the new hospice and so far they have raised $2 million to offset it.
Families can use the hospice as a respite, staying for up to five days, to relieve some of the pressure of constantly caring for a terminally ill child.
It appears to have been a long road to the site’s creation. After years of fundraising – which still continues – they broke ground in September 2012.
Here’s how the foundation describes the facility and its purpose:
When asked, people overwhelmingly choose to spend their last days at home, surrounded by family. Unfortunately, in the New York City area, too many people with advanced illness, especially children, must spend their final days in the sterile, impersonal environment of a hospital.
This 16-suite hospice inpatient residence will be a private home-like setting and it will be the first in New York City, and one of the few in the region, to serve children as well as adults. It will redefine hospice care by offering patients and their families a home away from home without sacrificing the best in medical care.
There are volunteer opportunities offered at the hospice. Learn more by clicking here.