A Peek Inside Serenity House

Posted on Aug 24 by SEASONS Magazine

For those of you who were unable to attend the grand opening of Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care‘s stunning new hospice inpatient facility, Serenity House, these beautiful photographs by Lawrence Anderson offer a look inside.

Serenity House.

High atop TV Hill, Serenity House’s beautiful new site offers a wonderful place for end of life care. Photo by Lawrence Anderson.

Serenity House offers patients and their families a residential, home-like setting to receive high-quality and individualized around-the-clock care from a team of specially trained doctors, nurses, medical social workers, spiritual counselors, hospice aides and volunteers that support emotional, spiritual and physical needs at the end of life.

Serenity House, patio.

One of several patios at Serenity House, photo by Lawrence Anderson.

There is a great demand for hospice care in our community and as the only licensed hospice inpatient care provider in Santa Barbara County, VNHC found its existing 6-bed facility could no longer adequately satisfy the demand for hospice care. Between 2008 and 2009 alone, the former Serenity House facility saw a 71% increase in the number of patients served and often, a waiting list of 10 or more people awaiting care.

Entryway, Serenity House.

Entryway, Serenity House, photograph by Lawrence Anderson.

Frank Schipper Construction broke ground on the new approximately 27,300 square foot facility in 2009 following a careful planning and design process led by PMSM Architects who oversaw every detail of the building and its surrounding campus.

Serenity House guest room.

Serenity House guest room, photo by Lawrence Anderson.

Each private room is equipped with a bed, flat screen TV, comfortable upholstered chair, closet, refrigerator, spacious ADA approved (Americans with Disabilities Act) bathroom, and its own outdoor patio with sweeping views of Santa Barbara’s lush hillsides.

Sitting Room, Serenity House.

Sitting Room, Serenity House, photo by Lawrence Anderson.

“Our goal was to create an inviting yet medically advanced built environment where patients and their families felt like they were in the comfort of their own homes,” says Kristin Story, principal architect at PMSM.   “From the therapeutic whirlpool spa and full commercial kitchen to a quiet meditation room and outdoor fireplace, every aspect of the design focused on providing elements of comfort, dignity and peace.”

Serenity House Bathing Facilities.

Serenity House is equipped with state-of-the-art bathing facilities. Photo by Lawrence Anderson.

“Serenity House is so much more than just a fancy building with a pretty view,” says Michelle Martinich, board chair of VNHC.   “Our team of qualified doctors, nurses and support staff offer a continuum of care which addresses both the needs of the patient and their families. With about 30 staff and dozens of trained volunteers, Serenity House offers a variety of medical and integrated approaches to providing comfort, dignity and peace at life’s end.”

Serenity House.

Serenity House, photo by Lawrence Anderson.

The new Serenity House has been named a Green Santa Barbara two star facility, demonstrating a commitment to the latest practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. Through the Elly Nadel Music Therapy Program, all Serenity House patients will be offered ‘live’ therapeutic music visits or a personalized iPod system to help soothe physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Integrated therapies such as Reiki, guided imagery, gentle reflexology, mindfulness practice and aromatherapy will also be offered to Serenity House patients.

The kitchen at Serenity House.

The kitchen at Serenity House. Photo by Lawrence Anderson.

Nonprofit since 1908, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care provides high quality, comprehensive home health, hospice and related services necessary to promote the health and well-being of all community residents, including those unable to pay. Serving all of Santa Barbara including Santa Ynez and Lompoc Valleys. For more information, call 805/965-5555 or visit www.vnhcsb.org.

Source: Greg Rogers, VNHC



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