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Design Center

June 1, 2005
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A Sanctuary of Comfort and Dignity AngelsGrace Hospice Oconomowoc, Wisconsin by Andrew Lee Alden, Associate AIA
AngelsGrace Hospice
OCONOMOWOC, WISCONSIN PROJECT SUMMARY

Type of Facility/Setting: Hospice

Operating Organization: ProHealth Care, Inc.

Chief Administrator: Mary Jo O'Malley, RN, MS, Executive Director, (920) 474-7800

Architecture: Engberg Anderson Design Partnership, Inc., (414) 944-9000

Photography: Andrew Lee Alden; Alan Gartzke

Resident Capacity: 15 beds

Total Project Area (sq. ft.): 25,354 (lower level, 7,639; upper level, 17,715)

Site Acreage: 8.5 acres

Project Cost: $5,000,000

Cost/Sq. Ft.: $197 (construction cost, $170/sq. ft.)


A sanctuary of comfort and dignity
BY ANDREW LEE ALDEN, ASSOCIATE AIA, ENGBERG ANDERSON DESIGN PARTNERSHIP

Hospice care philosophy centers on a holistic view of the resident. Its goals are to provide palliative care and the highest quality of life possible. The design of AngelsGrace Hospice is based on resident-centered goals: dignity, privacy, choice, autonomy, control, maximizing abilities, and providing a supportive environment.

Quality of life for a hospice resident includes interaction with friends and family members, which is encouraged and supported by dedicated family space in the resident rooms and spontaneous conversation nooks dispersed throughout the facility. Conversation in times of crisis can have a dramatic therapeutic impact on residents.

An inpatient hospice requires a level of construction akin to that required for a hospital, and avoiding an institutional image is important but difficult to achieve. The nature of hospice care requires certain institutional components, such as med gases, bathing and lift equipment, and a nursing presence. AngelsGrace "tames" these institutional aspects by strategically integrating them into a residential-inspired environment. This is accomplished through decentralized storage and support spaces, conversation nooks, custom casework, artwork, and high-quality residential finishes and furnishings. The environment blends away the institutional features, yet staff efficiency and satisfaction are enhanced.

The design of this 15-bed, 25,000-square-foot inpatient hospice facility is based on a noninstitutional, small-scale, resident-centered model. Three semiautonomous resident wings are designed around decentralized service and support spaces. Specially designed resident rooms allow extra space for families, privacy, and maximization of residents' physical capabilities and give residents control over their environment. Special attention was given to the integration of visual and physical access to the outdoors regardless of resident mobility. The site takes full advantage of its natural setting, enabling residents to overlook the pond and woodlands. Therapeutic gardens, walking paths, and destination points provide an interactive natural environment. Resident rooms are designed with two orientations to the exterior, and each room has access to a private patio and garden spaces.

The physical environment encourages residents to be as autonomous as possible, regardless of physical or psychological impairment. However, when assistance is needed, the environment enables care with dignity. The resident bathrooms are specifically designed to encourage this philosophy, with the provision of drop-down grab bars, a wheelchair-accessible shower and lavatory, in-room storage of hygiene items, and dedicated space for staff assistance and for maneuvering equipment.


End-of-life design should provide a supportive, noninstitutional environment that meets the holistic physical and psychological needs of residents, families, and staff. The resident is the center of hospice care philosophy, and resident-centered care is the basis for this design. AngelsGrace is a sanctuary where residents receive the best palliative care and families can come together to prepare for their beloved's passing with dignity.

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