First Christian Helps Bring Hospice Care to Those Without a Home
Thus am I a feather on the breath of God.
~St. Hildegard of Bingen
Opened in 2016, the Hildegard House provides a home, quality end-of-life care, and access to hospice services during the last months of life for people without a home.
Hildegard House can serve 3 residents at a time and has served 52 individuals, including homeless, veterans, widows and those that have no one else in this world to care for them at the time of their death.
St. Hildegard of Bingen, a medieval German Benedictine mystic, is the patroness of Hildegard House. She practiced hospitality, and believed all life carries Divine energy. In line with this tradition, Hildegard House provides so much more than just a bed in a room, the staff and volunteers provide the hospitality of a home, an extended family, and a death with dignity.
The heart of Hildegard House, a non-profit organization located in downtown Louisville, KY is the volunteers, called Compassionate Companions. There are over 60 of these committed individuals that commit to at least 5 hours each week to serve as the residents’ family, providing personal care, medication, meals and presence. Every resident also has access to nurses/nurse’s aides, social workers and chaplains. Meals, laundry, housekeeping and companionship are a part of the home setting at the Hildegard House.
In 2017, a First Christian Church of Louisville Wholeness Ministry Grant was awarded to Hildegard House to fund monthly volunteer training. This year, FCC was please to partner with Hildegard House again with a 2018 Wholeness Ministry Grant to assist with the continuation of this ministry of care. This years funds will be used to cover those medications not covered by Hosparus as well as food including basic staples such as milk, eggs, bread, cheese for daily meals.
The caring staff and volunteers at Hildegard House work hard to provide the things that are important to each individual patient, such as a favorite food (Hildegard House has served Big Red floats, key lime pie and jelly beans!) or a favorite song. The staff and volunteers are always looking for ways to help residents feel happy, comfortable and dignified as they near the end of their lives.
In a letter written to First Christian Church, Hildegard House Executive Director, Karen Cassidy, shared the following:
" Let me tell you what Hildegard House means to some of the people that have already lived with us.
For Michael, living at Hildegard House meant that he no longer had to live in his car. He had a safe home with his own room and caring volunteers to assist him.
For Billy, it meant pizza, key lime pie, and playing 60's music (and someone to sing along with him!)
For Mary, it meant having a clean bed, meals prepared for her and medicine given regularly to relieve pain.
And for Jim, a veteran, it meant no more loneliness and the well-deserved honor of a proper military burial."
The wholeness grant used to fund this ministry was made possible through your faithful financial support of our church and its ministries and help fund a variety of efforts to make our world a better place. You can find more examples of those efforts or apply for a grant to make the world a better place by clicking here.