MISSOULA — There is no dedicated center for end-of-life care in Western Montana but that's about to change as Partners Hope Foundation is building a hospice center in Missoula.
Partners Hope Foundation Executive Director Betsy Bach said her team saw a need in Montana.
"We want to be able to give the dying a voice in the way they choose to die," Bach said. "There is a two-bed hospice facility in Anaconda, but that's the closest."
The foundation is gearing up to build a hospice and end-of-life care center in Missoula.
Partners Hope reports 40% of people in Montana over the age of 75 live alone, and 75% of the state’s Medicare population lives in rural areas, making it hard for people to access this type of care.
"Just in the last year, we've gained a lot of momentum and started figuring out how we can accomplish our goals," Bach said.
Bach said there really is nothing else like this in all of Western Montana.
Right now Partners Hope Foundation is focused on raising funds that will go into a lot on Union Pacific to build 12 hospice care rooms.
"Really what put us in motion was this lovely gift of five acres from Terry and Pat Payne," Bach said.
The Payne's donated a lot earlier this year, but the foundation has been planning since 2017. "The need is great," Bach moted.
The center will provide 24-hour care, respite care, and other resources like planning.
"Having something like this is so important, and so helpful, in clarifying needs and what people want," Bach told MTN News.
Bach says they hope to break ground in a year.