Community Needs : Family Support Services, Homelessness, Seniors
In an eight-bedroom residential care home, Sarah House provides hospice care to low-income or homeless individuals suffering from terminal illness. Last year, the agency served 72 residents, 33 of them women and many without family support. Trained Resident Assistant Caregivers help the patients move through their final days and nights in comfort. They assist with medications and therapy, aid residents in and out of bed, give a bath or shower, help them dress and read or write letters. At night, they hold hands and calm anxious residents. Eventually, it is the Resident Assistant Caregiver who sits at the bedside of each person at the time of his or her death. This grant provides salary and benefits for the equivalent of one caregiver position for one year. Because the agency operates as a hospice home rather than a medical facility, it cannot receive Medi-Cal or Medicare funding. It must rely on foundations and individual donors to fund its services.