Sacramento professor starts homeless hospice

Sacramento professor starts homeless hospice

“Everybody should have that opportunity to die with respect, dignity and love,” she said. “These are people with heart disease, cancer, AIDS whatever serious terminal illness that otherwise would be on the street, and die on the street.”Fitzwater is a retired professor with UC Davis School of Medicine, a professor emeritus at Sacramento State and the founder of the nonprofit Health Communication Research Institute.The Sacramento facility is named after her 34 year old grandson who died in 2014 while homeless in Nebraska.”When he was clean and sober, we would talk a lot about what his purpose was in life. He wanted to help those he saw on the street who were sick, dying and had no one to care for them,” she explained. “So this is in his memory. It’s a tribute to his compassion and his love for others. This is something I feel very much guided by him.”Joshua’s House will be among just a handful in the country offering this type of end of life care and is the first in the West Coast.”It really struck me when I was at UC Davis working in the cancer center and learning some of the people we were treating were homeless,” she explained. “They can be treated at a local hospital,
Sacramento professor starts homeless hospice
but we don’t have enough MediCal beds, we don’t have 24 hour shelters, we don’t have places where hospice care could be provided.”Fitzwater said doctors have agreed to discharge terminally ill patients, and then provide hospice care at Joshua’s House to their patients.”The hospital certainly doesn’t want to discharge people back on the street,” she said. “We’re not a nursing facility. We’re not a medical facility. It’s more like a room and board.”The center will initially have 16 to 20 beds, a chapel, library, music and art therapy, as well as reunification services for those wanting to mend ties with family.”I one on one interviewed about 130 people who were homeless, and the big issue for them is a fear of dying on the street alone,” she said. “They already feel invisible and forgotten,
Sacramento professor starts homeless hospice
and then to think about their life ending on the street. It’s a fear they all share.”