Growing Grand Junction: Demand for Hospice Care on the Rise

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Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado says it's will treat almost 29% more patients than this time last year.

Hospice officials are looking forward to opening their new in-patient care facility that will make families more comfortable while sharing their final days with loved ones.

"My wonderful wife of 48 years, Eva passed away."

Roger Hagerty lost the love of his life five years ago.

"It's the most difficult thing I've had to go through," said Hagerty.

But with the help of Hospice and Palliative Care he was able to say goodbye to his beloved wife and find peace.

More and more people like Hagerty are turning to hospice for support while they spend their last hours with their loved ones.

"Hospice has grown dramatically over the last 16 years, partly because of the growing population and partly because more people are learning their entitled to the care," President and CEO of Hospice and Palliative Care of Wetern Colorado Christy Whitney told 11 News on Tuesday.

Whitney says the non–profit center is serving 425 people a day right now, up from 350 last summer, and with the opening of the first of its kind in–patient center, that number will jump to 450.

People who have toured the 13 bed facility say it looks more like a hotel than a hospital, exactly what whitney says they're going for.

"It's a shame at the very end or when a crisis that the family can't stay to support each other, we wanted to make an environment for that," said Whitney.

Because Hospice and Palliative Care says the more comfortable a family is, the more comfortable the patient will be, which makes it just a little easier for families and people like Roger Hagerty to heal.

"Without hospice I don't think I'd be here today," said Hagerty.

Dealing with what may be one of the toughest things in life, the death of a loved one.

The center raised 12 million dollars through community donations to pay for the in–patient care center.

For more information on Hospice and Palliative Care call (970) 241-2212 or click on the link below.

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