By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — The Martin-Linsin Residence and the next step for Hospice of Orleans were celebrated Thursday in a well-attended reception at the soon-to-open facility.
Hundreds packed the atrium, kitchen, living room areas and spilled out into the hallways as Hospice officials remarked at how far the organization has come. The $2.2 million, eight-suite residence provides a level of service that normally isn’t seen in a community the size of Orleans County.
“It might be said that we’re too small to have something like this,” Hospice of Orleans Executive Director Mary Anne Fisher said. “But Orleans County deserves this ... and it’s possible because of your caring hearts.”
Hospice of Orleans has touched hundreds of lives by providing in-home and in-hospital services, but the desire to provide a space for those whose needed level of care exceeded their capacity to help has been longly held. Hospice of Orleans Board of Directors President Sheila Myer said the addition of the residence could help local people benefit from Hospice’s work longer by providing longer-term services.
“They can now get services earlier,” Myer said. “I’m so glad that people can see the house today, the environment. It’s a very supportive, loving environment.”
A feeling of home is felt throughout the residence. While the facility includes everything for 24/7 care, the emphasis is on independence. Resident’s rooms are ready to be personalized, with all of the hints of help hidden — the oxygen connection is camoflauged behind a sliding piece of framed artwork and medicine will be kept in a closeted safe, not taken around on a cart.
“It’s not meant to be a medical facility, it’s a home away from home,” Hospice of Orleans Development Director Cora Goyette said. “Hospice helps people come to terms with life, it’s about how you chose to live.”
Building the facility took a year of construction and a great deal of assistance from the community. Goyette said that the community campaigns across Orleans County have raised more than $207,000 already, with the $500,000 gift made by the later Bruce Martin in honor of his wife, Margaret Linsin Martin, and other larger private donors helping the campaign top more than 99 percent of the capital costs.
There was an enormous feeling of achievement inside the residence Thursday, with volunteers and officials leading tours of where residents will stay once final state approval is given.
“We’ve waited for this dream to become a reality for years,” said former Hospice of Orleans Board of Directors President Craig Lape. “Now here we are in the most wonderful home in all of Orleans County.”
The occasion was bittersweet for the many who came, hearts heavy with memories of friends and family members who’d have benefited greatly from the residence. Patricia Shelp of Albion said she wept as she toured the facility with her husband Brad.
“We lost a son at 22 to leukemia,” Shelp said after a long, thankful embrace of Goyette after the ceremony. “What I would have given to have this then ... to give him more comfort. We needed this.”
Many others left with pride, knowing that they now have a place of comfort available for when the warmth of home is needed most, and with the knowledge that a dream doesn’t have to stay a dream.Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.