Caring for an aging family member who is approaching the end of life has always been a challenge for residents of Lanai. Many times, individuals were forced to seek hospice services on Maui or Oahu, which meant costly travel for family members.
But now, thanks to the hard work and commitment of many – and a partnership between Hospice Hawaii and Lanai Community Hospital – we now have hospice services on island for the first time.
Receiving Hospice Care on Lanai
A restored home on Ilima Avenue will serve as a permanent facility for Hospice Hawaii-Lanai, but for now, hospice aides, nurses and counselors work with families at home, where most patients prefer to receive care. A hospital room is available at Lanai Community Hospital for patients whose care cannot be managed at home.
To receive hospice care, a patient must be diagnosed as terminally ill with six months or less to live. Referrals can be made by doctors, family members, community health center staff or by patients themselves. Medicare covers hospice costs for those 65 and older. Medical insurance plans are also accepted. No one is denied service due to a lack of funds.
The Hospice Hawaii-Lanai Team
Two RNs, Melissa Champlin and Carol Franko, staff Hospice Hawaii-Lanai. A third nurse will join them soon, which will enable 24-hour on-call care for patients. The nurses are under the direction of a medical doctor. The Hospice Hawaii-Lanai team also includes certified nurse assistants (CNAs), a counselor to assist patients and family members, and a spiritual advisor.
Volunteers are crucial for the Hospice Hawaii-Lanai program to be effective. Four volunteers are committed for this year, but more are needed.
Visit hospice’s new office in Lanai City at 832 Kiele Street, Unit B, for information or volunteer applications. The office will have its official grand opening and blessing soon. Hospice Hawaii- Lanai may be reached at (808) 565-6777 or (808) 649-9655.