October 10, 2014
DATE: September 25, 2014
CONTACT: Roxanne Debski-Seigel
Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation
Offices in Newton NJ & Milford PA.
PHOTO: (A) Julia Quinlan stands in the threshold of the new Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice with US Congressman Scott Garrett reminding the audience it was not too long ago many of us were here breaking ground for this magnificent facility, now complete.
PHOTO: (B) September 25th Ribbon cutting “was a dream come true almost 35 years in the making” said a very happy Julia Quinlan.
PHOTO: (C) The new Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice.
PHOTO: (D) Flag raising ceremony following the ribbon-cutting event of the new facility.
Fredon, NJ- September 25, 2014 This story of the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice really began in 1975 when the daughter of Joseph and Julia Quinlan had fallen into an irreversible and inexplicable coma. After Karen Ann was removed from the respirator, a move, which required a legal battle to perform, she lived for almost another ten years. It was during that time the Quinlans clearly saw a demand for care for those who were terminally ill.
The vision of care needed for our area involved more than clinical treatment for the dying patient; it made paramount he or she is cared for with dignity, surrounded by love, hope and family. Beyond the patient, addressing the family’s practical concerns and offering emotional or spiritual support was also an indispensable portion of the plan. The Quinlans, so devoted to the mission, visited England where the name “hospice” was first applied to the practice of specialized care for dying patients. Physician Dame Cicely Saunders was a leader in the hospice movement and began her work with the terminally ill in 1948. Eventually she formed the first modern hospice in 1967—St. Christopher’s Hospice—in a residential suburb of London. The Quinlans met Saunders in the USA where the physician mentored them on the topic of hospice and set up a tour of hospice care for Joseph and Julia that spanned from the east to the west coast.
It was under her guidance that the Quinlans were convinced this was the type of care model that was lacking in our area. With the help of local physicians, dedicated supporters, and the backing of the Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation created with money earned from the Quinlans’ book and TV movie, The Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice opened its door staffed with volunteers in 1980.
While it was as early as 1972 when Dr. Kubler-Ross, author of On Death and Dying (1969) testified at the first national hearings conducted by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging on the subject of death with dignity, it was the 1976 landmark Quinlan case that woke a county. Kubler-Ross stated, “We live in a very particular death-denying society. We isolate both the dying and the old, and it serves a purpose. They are reminders of our own mortality. We should not institutionalize people. We can give families more help with home care and visiting nurses, giving the families and the patients the spiritual, emotional, and financial help in order to facilitate the final care at home.”
The Quinlan case brought national and worldwide attention to the debate of whom and under what circumstances extraordinary means of keeping a loved one alive should be made. It was resolved that the decision be made not only by the patient’s medical team, but also by the patient’s wishes or known wishes, thus revealing to what extent man-made technology he or she wanted to intervene with the natural dying process.
As Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice grew, and as our traditional medical facilities, clearly meant for clinical and recovery care, became more in demand and costly, it was evident that a new kind of Home for end-of-life patients was needed; one that was different from institutionalized surroundings but could provide skilled care along with considering the family during this difficult time.
The Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, still firmly rooted in providing the final care in the home when able, knew in order to complete their hospice mission, they must be able to deliver this kind of care for the dying loved one who cannot remain at home.
After decades of dreaming and five years in the planning, funding, and building process, the new view of hospice care is complete. With the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice, the hospice now offers a full circle of care for their hospice patients. The new home gives the patient a place to receive care where they are not overwhelmed by the clinical surroundings associated with medical institutions, but in a “real-as-possible” home-like setting. Family members, friends, and children can come and go anytime of the day or night, everyday, to be with their loved one during the final days, weeks, or months. There are also those among us who need the care hospice provides, but have no family or caregiver options to be able to stay at home. While nursing homes provide long-term care, and call-in hospice when needed, patients or their families do not always require, desire or can afford that long-term care; the hospice home offers a place to go to get the care they need during the final phase.
In addition to routine residence home care, the home will also be able to furnish temporary respite to families who need a “home” away from home for their loved one while they are away or in need of a rest from the very difficult task of caregiver. The home offers stopgap care for the patient discharged from a hospital stay but is not yet equipped to return to his or her home due to needing treatments that go beyond what can be provided in the average home. At times hospice patients need short-term care to stabilize pain or other acute symptoms that do not require hospitalization, but cannot be achieved in a household setting; the home will be able to offer that service to Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice patients.
But what sets apart the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice in our area from other facilities located in larger institutions is the uniqueness of the pastoral setting. Julia Quinlan’s vision, along with Willard and Jeannette Klemm who appreciated that vision, pictured a home with a serene and countryside backdrop. The Klemms’ permitted the Karen Ann Quinlan Foundation to procure 9 acres of their 500-acre Waterwheel Farm located in Fredon, NJ as a site for the facility. The ten patient home stands gently on a wooded site overlooking the horse fields and farm complete with each patient room’s sliding glass doors displaying breathtaking views of the Kittatinny Mountain range. “This is God’s country,” a state official noted upon visiting the site for its groundbreaking in March of 2013.
On September 25th, the public along with dignitaries and medical professionals greeted Julia Quinlan and shared in her dream during the ribbon cutting for this one of kind regional facility. Also 100’s participated in touring the home during the open house that was held from 3-6 pm at the new Home, 28 Fairview Hill Rd, Newton, NJ 07860 (located in Fredon adjacent to the Waterwheel Farm). Visit KarenAnnQuinlanHospice.org or call 800-882-1117 for more information.
The Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation is passionately dedicated to providing Hospice care for the terminally ill and Bereavement for those who have lost loved ones. Serving Northwest NJ and Northeast PA; please call 800-882-1117 to reach any of our services at either office; Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 99 Sparta Ave., Newton, NJ 07860 and Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 104 Bennett Ave., suite 2A-2, Milford, PA. 18337. Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice is an independently owned hospice program and proud to be the preferred hospice provider for our area Atlantic Health Care System. For hospice programs, events, and more information visit www.karenannquinlanhospice.org. Stay up to the minute with us on Facebook.com/KarenAnnQuinlanHospice.org.