Local News

Residential Hospice Planned for Cary

Posted March 19, 2007 4:53 p.m. EDT
Updated March 19, 2007 10:45 p.m. EDT

— To give terminally ill patients and their families another option for their final days together, Hospice of Wake County has outlined plans for a residential hospice in Cary.

Wake County is the only metropolitan area in North Carolina without a hospice—the closest residential facilities are in Goldsboro and Hillsborough—meaning terminally ill patients who can't be cared for at home must go to a nursing home or hospital.

The $11 million Hospice Care Center planned on Trinity Road in Cary would provide a home-like environment for up to 20 terminally ill patients. It also would house a family grief center and a volunteer training center when it opens in January 2009.

"As a society, we need to prepare for growing end-of-life care needs in our community," said John Thoma, chief executive of Hospice of Wake County.

The organization has asked all Wake County municipalities to contribute to its capital campaign. Six have tentatively said yes, with the county pledging $2 million to the effort.

"It's about comfort and providing support for people who are going through some difficult times," said Susan Strickland, whose father, Earl Gregory, has liver cancer and is given only a few months to live.

Gregory has stayed at the hospice unit at Rex Hospital -- as well as in a regular hospital room -- and is back at home with his wife for his final weeks.

"I can handle it because that's my husband," said his wife, Mattie Gregory. "I'll do anything in the world for him, and I'm just thankful that there are people out there that are willing to do the same."