Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Alexian Brothers Hospice Residence in Elk Grove Village, Illinois

The following is a review I submitted to Yelp after my mother had spent the final 18 weeks of her life in this facility.  I was dismayed to discover a few weeks later, that Yelp had moved my review to a section called "Not approved" based on some computer.

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  My Mom was a resident for 18 weeks, so my sister and/or I were daily visitors to the Alexian Brothers Hospice Residence and became very conversant with the facility. The staff (doctors, nurses, aides, housekeeping, and volunteers) are all friendly and helpful and willingly interact with patients and visitors. All are willing to spend whatever time is necessary to answer your questions and fulfill your requests. The staff-patient ratio is far smaller than at a nursing home or on a hospital floor (there are only 16 rooms in the facility which is only a year old) and all personnel are specially trained for hospice care.

The rooms are very large, private, and well-appointed.  The beds are queen size with state-of-the art power beds, allowing for comfort for bedridden patients.  They even encourage you to get onto the bed to be close to the patient.  Each room is spacious, well-lit with six windows, and offers views outside at the lush landscaped campus.  Each room has three chairs, several tables and a large window seat and ledge for photo frames, books, flowers, etc., as well as wall shelves for photo albums and books.  The room also has a closet, a large washroom with handicap shower, and a small "kitchen" area with sink and mini-fridge.  A ceiling fan over the bed and thermostat on the wall allow for individual heat/cool preferences.  The rooms are pretty well soundproofed so little outside traffic noise can be heard, and since there is far less hustle and bustle compared to a hospital or nursing home, there is little commotion from the hall.  When the daily hall vacuuming occurs, closing the thick door shuts out that noise.  A huge wall-mounted LCD TV screen offers over a hundred satellite channels as well as dozens of music channels.

 Meals are ordered from the hospital menu that allows any choices you want for any meal.  Mom was paralyzed, so if we weren't there to assist with feeding, the staff assisted Mom with the meal. There is a fully equipped kitchen that families can use, either cooking meals from scratch or bringing food in to eat there.  Volunteers make delicious cookies daily for all who wish to partake.

There are two large sitting areas on either side of the main entrance, one with a fireplace and the other with a piano. Music therapy is provided, with piano music in the lobby area and a singer/guitarist who goes room to room.  Two family washrooms are available in the hallways in each wing of the building, and private consultation rooms allow for meetings with doctors and social workers, etc. Laundry service is available daily, and each resident's laundry is washed separately.

There is a large parking lot and the facility is located just seconds from the Biesterfield Road on/off ramps from Route 53/I-290.

A lovely chapel seats about 20 with windows on three sides, looking out over the lovely landscaping, and several chaplains visit regularly.

The cost of $350 a day is all-inclusive.  When compared with nursing homes (and adding in all the extras that nursing homes charge for seemingly every little thing) the cost is comparable, but you probably wouldn't have a private room in the nursing home and the patient/nurse ratio would be  much higher.  The peace of mind and level of extraordinary care provided to the residents cannot be given a price tag, and I highly recommend Hospice Residence for those who can afford it.

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