NEW AIDS FACILITY WILL HELP PATIENTS DIE WITH DIGNITY; TRAINED CAREGIVERS KEEP CARE AFFORDABLE
NEW AIDS FACILITY WILL HELP PATIENTS DIE WITH DIGNITY;
TRAINED CAREGIVERS KEEP CARE AFFORDABLE
NORRISTOWN, Pa., March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A case of AIDS is diagnosed in the United States approximately every eight minutes, and it is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control, in Atlanta, that five die from it every hour.
And, with the number of AIDS cases on the rise, the issue of how to care for patients affordably and with dignity has never been more critical.
Today, internationally known AIDS educator and advocate Dr. Jack Cionci will see one of his life-long dreams come true, an 18-bed AIDS facility that will care for terminally ill patients in a homelike environment and cost less than half of traditional hospice settings.
Cionci, with the help of the Norristown chapter of the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity, along with more than 100 volunteers from the specialty chemical company Rohm and Haas and The Prudential Insurance Company of America, will break ground for the $1.2 million facility scheduled to be completed by October of 1992.
"It's been very difficult raising the money, finding a location and getting the manpower we need to build a facility like this one," said Cionci.
"But I promise you that it will eventually become a model facility for caring for patients suffering in the final stages of AIDS because they will die with dignity and among people who truly care about them as individuals."
Cionci said the facility will offer unskilled nursing care which will reduce the charge per day from about $150 to approximately $60. In addition, patients who have been told that they have six months or less to live will be required to sign a form stating that they do not want to be resuscitated.
When the facility opens, Cionci promised, "We will make sure that if they need more complex nursing care, we will have skilled nurses available who we can call in for help."
Cionci has been one of the most strident AIDS advocates since he became interested in the disease in 1985. He has lectured to healthcare professionals around the world, and as a member of the Montgomery County AIDS Task Force, went to China in April 1990 where he was the first Western doctor to present AIDS lectures in five major cities.
"It's very encouraging that people everywhere are concerned about AIDS, yet there is still a great deal of misinformation and fear that needs to be dealt with aggressively," said Cionci.
"I am hopeful that this positive experience we're having with this facility is an indicator that the public is more willing to accept and deal with people with AIDS, because like it or not, it will affect more and more of our friends and families in the years to come."
For more information or to make contributions, write: Montgomery County AIDS Task Force/Tranquil Haven, P.O. Box 414, Abington, Pa. 19001.
/CONTACT: Dava Guerin of Weightman Public Relations, 215-561-6100, or evenings, 215-635-5985, for Rohm and Haas/ CO: Rohm and Haas ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:
CC-MK -- PH001 -- 2625 03/28/92 11:00 EST