Harmony House of Western Massachusetts
What is a "social model" home?
At Harmony House, community-based volunteers and caregivers take responsibility for our own neighbors, thus becoming a “surrogate” family to those in our community who are most in need.
Residents’ daily care—such as help with dressing, eating, walking or moving from bed to chair—is provided by a combination of family members (if available), trained volunteers and some paid caregivers. Medical care is provided by a separate team from one of several licensed hospice agencies in the area.
Under the social model of care for the dying, there is no federal or state funding, because we do not function as a medical facility. Harmony House is funded by donations and grants alone.
What is the admission requirement?
To be considered eligible for Harmony House, a person must be an adult with a terminal illness, with a life expectancy of 3 months or less. The resident must not require skilled nursing procedures or services, must be under the care of a hospice agency, and must have a DNR (do not resuscitate) order in place.
How does Harmony House differ from a Hospice facility?
There are only a few Hospice resident facilities in the state. Most recipients of Hospice services receive them in their home or at a nursing home. Harmony House is a private home without government funding, where love, shelter, nourishment and compassionate care is given.
Medical procedures are provided by each resident's respective Hospice team, with Harmony House staff and volunteers assisting in the same way a family would, if there were family available to provide care.
What happens if the resident is taken off Hospice, or they require skilled nursing?
If a resident is taken off Hospice, they will be required to find other accommodations. Harmony House volunteers will assist in this process. This may also occur if the resident’s condition changes such that they require skilled nursing care.
Who takes priority for admission?
Indigent and isolated members of the community receive first priority. Those who are suffering, in need of loving and compassionate care at the end of their lives, often discover that there is no place to go. Harmony House responds to this need by providing 24 hour quality care.
Harmony House residents are served regardless of race, gender, illness, faith, financial status or other characteristics or circumstances.
The residents are in the last days or weeks of their lives. Harmony House provides individual rooms, meals, and personal care. We are not a licensed medical facility, nursing home or hospice program. Residents must be enrolled in a Hospice program before being admitted to Harmony House.
Does Harmony House charge a fee?
Harmony House’s operations are supported solely by the generosity of donors. Therefore, Harmony House always accepts donations to help
off-set the cost of care, if the resident or family is able to provide a donation. No resident will ever be turned away because of financial status.
The resident’s Hospice program, not Harmony House, provides the medical care and other hospice services. Medicare or Medicaid may
pay the Hospice provider for services, but Harmony House does not receive reimbursement.