Visit to new end-of-life care home brings more learning to Caring House

On Monday, the Caring House delegation visited the recently-opened Our Community House of Hope (OCHH) — the end-of-life care home in Thousand Oaks, Ventura County.

Much like Caring House, a group of volunteers had worked for five+ years to develop this home for its community. The lovely OCHH home has four private rooms, two bathrooms, large eat-in kitchen, dining room and living room, plus a beautiful backyard.

We met with four OCHH leaders and compared notes. Among the reminders and new ideas we gathered:

  • Nurses have become a large part of the OCHH volunteer corps — and are a great help training caregivers and other community volunteers.
  • Having leased their residence for the initial year, they are now facing a rent increase from their landlord.
  • All the linens (and more) were donated by community members who checked the OCHH wishlist at Bed, Bath & Beyond (like in a wedding registry).
  • To simplify administrative matters, initially they’ve been obtaining caregivers through a home care agency rather than hiring their own employees. This provides an assured source of back-up if a caregiver cannot make it to work.
  • They already have more than 100 volunteers, who do a variety of jobs beyond supporting residents and families, including: mailings, fundraising, education, cooking, grant writing, event planning, gardening and website management.

It’s amazing to see what a dedicated group of individuals can accomplish.