End-of-life care home closes amid tough economy
SCOTIA, N.Y. -- "We started with nothing," said Joan Nicole Prince Home board member, Stacey Bentrovato.
With only an idea about how to fill a need, volunteers at the Joan Nicole Prince Home knew they were making a difference at the end-of-life facility. It provides basic care to two patients at a time.
Bonnie Kriss, a volunteer coordinator at the home, remembered a day from two years ago. "Oh, I was here on the very first day it opened and when the first patient rolled in the door - June 19, 2006, which I'll always remember."
Family members could visit whenever they wanted, stay as long as they wanted.
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"They're really grateful because they can come and be the mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, during this process instead of being a caregiver," Kriss said.
But 45 residents later, something had to give.
"A lot of volunteers, a lot of activity. It was about living. It wasn't about dying," Kriss said.
"The money is basically...we're in the same situation a lot of not-for-profits are. We're struggling to maintain a sustainable income for both owning the home - which we own a mortgage on - and operating costs," Bentrovato said.
The business model - unable to deal with today's economic pressures. Dwindling donations forced the home to make the threat of shutting its doors to new patients a reality.
"During the time we can't accept residents, there will be some that miss the opportunity," said Bentrovato.
It's not just this home struggling to make it - but not-for-profits all over. For instance, donations here have shrunk by about 50 percent compared to last year.
"The decision was made to continue to own the home, and focus on our fundraising in the hopes of reaccepting residents and opening again," said Bentrovato.
These are economic challenges that are hitting home, for those who gave a comfortable home to people most in need during their final days.
"It was a long arduous journey to open. I really believe there's going to be some miracles. The generosity of the human spirit in this home is still here," Bentrovato said.
The home is still taking donations to help reopen at some point if possible. To contact the home, you can call them at (518) 346-5471.