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J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice
A place to reflect. To share. To remember. To live.
J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice
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The J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice is enhancing the way Allina Health Hospice provides end-of-life care in this region. By providing around-the-clock hospice care, we honor the wishes of patients who want to live the remainder of their days in a home-like setting. We also offer their loved ones the ability to step back from being the caregiver and focus on what really matters - being a family.
Staff and families share how J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice helps them honor the wishes of patients who want to live the remainder of their days in a home-like setting.
Beth Wedum: It's probably the most important part of dying, is to be comfortable.
Steve Robertson, chaplain: It's about helping the person see their dignity, their value and being able to share that gift with their families.
Geoff Grassle, board member, Allina Health Hospice Foundation: It's about getting the most out of the time you have left.
Amy Noble, Hospice nurse, case manager: Hospice includes so much. You learn about hospice because your experiences shape your life. When you come into hospice you meet an entire team of people. This is a journey you are on and we are on this journey with you.
Darryl Hill: Some people want to stay in their homes but that is a tremendous drain on the caregiver.
I could not give her the care she needed. That isn't fair to her. To me.
What it did is give me a little life. I tried to keep my life as normal as I could. I would see her twice a day.
Gretchen Keel, Hospice nurse: All we continue to do is hope that you can love your loved one. And we can be in the background to help in any way we can.
Wedum: You just know you are doing something good for the patients.
I think the wonderful thing with the hospice we have built here is each room has an individual patio for each room and they built the windows to the size where they can wheel the bed out if somebody can't get out of bed but get outside. That's pretty top notch.
Noble: When you walk into the residential hospice house you will feel like you are going home. It is your home. When you go there we will welcome there as part of our family. We will take care of you just like you are one of ours.
Robertson: They will be offered a care and a commitment that is unlike anything else.
Gloria Cade, Hospice director: All of those caregiving worries, responsibilities are lifted from their shoulders onto someone else. They can still be present 24 hours a day with their loved ones but now it’s as a family member not as the primary caregiver.
Grassle: Your first step in that door whether you are a patient and considering hospice or a family member in need of hospice, I think that’s going to set the tone for the rest of your experience with it.
Dr. Donald Grossbach, Hospice medical director: More quality time can be spent with the patient caring for the patient’s emotional needs and spiritual needs at that point rather than being so worried and bothered by the physical needs that our staff will take care of.
Robertson: I want the patient to leave knowing they have great value. Who they are, what they believe, they have tremendous value. They’ve made a contribution and a footprint in this life and that footprint will be left behind and it’s my job to help them discover what that footprint is.
Grossbach: The hospice workers are special people. They really are. They are drawn towards hospice. It is very, very uncommon for someone to come into hospice and not want to stay there.
Cade: We are bringing that quality to them we are bringing those meaningful experiences to them at the end of life.
Noble: It’s not something that leaves you, it’s a part of who you are.
I literally love what I do.
Robertson: It is the greatest blessing I have ever had. These people understand what is really important in life. All the other things are peripheral. Nobody that I visited talked about the car they drive, the home they own, the money they have in the bank, the trips they took, none of that discussed. All of them, all of them talk about what has my life meant. What has my family meant to me. All of them are surrounded by family members giving them love and receiving love. That’s what it’s all about in the end. And I’m privileged to witness that.
A place to reflect. To share. To remember. To live.
The J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice opened its doors to the public in February. One of its first patients was Carry Wong.
The J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice is for people who have a life-limiting illness and need professional around-the-clock care.
All the comforts of home when they matter most
"The Wedum House was absolutely awesome and the staff was phenomenal. We placed mom there for her final days, sight unseen...it was way more than our expectations."
Daughter, Wedum Hospice patient
The J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice is designed for patients with a life-limiting illness who need professional around-the-clock care. For more information, call
Volunteers are needed to give of their time and talents at the Wedum Hospice. Flexible schedules available. Learn more online at allina.com/hospice.
Who pays for your care?
The J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice is a Medicare certified facility. Hospice care is covered by most insurers, including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers. Room and board expenses are separate from the hospice care billed to insurance. Generally, room and board expenses are paid by patients or their families.
The J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice is an alternative to hospice care provided in your home or in a traditional hospital setting. The residential hospice will remind you of a comfortable home in a peaceful neighborhood. There's a landscaped welcoming area that provides safe access around the clock. And we offer a wide range of amenities to make you feel at home:
Care by expert hospice professionals
Your care team will work closely with your doctor to meet your physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Along with support provided by nurses, home health aides and social workers, your care could include:
Certified massage therapists can help manage pain, reduce stress, and improve circulation or mobility. Sessions are adapted to meet your comfort level.
Certified music therapists use a variety of music to provide physical, emotional and social comfort.
Therapy pets can help improve emotional and physical conditions, loneliness, depression and loss of mobility. Certified therapists can provide sessions with therapy pets to meet your needs.
Our chaplains provide compassionate support that is inclusive of your personal and spiritual beliefs. Chaplains work with patients and their loved ones from all faith affiliations, religions and cultural backgrounds.
We offer families many grief counseling options throughout the year after the death of a loved one.
Caring volunteers from the community are available to you as helping hands, companions and sympathetic listeners.
Changing the way hospice care is delivered
Ken Paulus: Until you've experienced losing a loved one, either a parent or a child or a spouse, you don't really understand how important hospice is.
MaryBeth Wedum: Well hi and what a special day, a special day for Allina Health Hospice and the J.A. Wedum Foundation. We are breaking ground today on a dream – a vision. The Allina J.A. Hospice facility is at this moment a reality.
Dale Vesledahl: Breaking ground today is so exhilarating that we now are actually sticking the shovel in the ground. We're going to see a building and all the hard work and everybody is coming to fruition.
Mark Hansen: The facility is a little bit over 18,000 square feet. It' probably going to be the largest hospice house in the state of the Minnesota. We were really trying to do is we were trying to deinstitutionalize the facility, really wanted to create a warm, homey like atmosphere.
Gloria Cade: I think I'm just most proud that we're able to do this, that we've had so many well meaning people, who have donated their money and their time in the creation of this. Allina Health patients and other patients will be well served.
MaryBeth Wedum: In 1966, we got married. I mean he was my best friend, besides my husband.
Ken Paulus: My mom was a nurse, actually a nursing student. They had six kids and I remember there were two things that she basically drilled home to us when we were growing up, one was that you would, you'd finish college, that you'd find a way to get through college, because they didn't have that, that opportunity, but the more important thing that you need to make a difference.
MaryBeth Wedum: He always went downtown and got the Wall Street Journal and he said Beth there, this is done in Russian. You know I, I just can't read this and I said well John for heaven sakes go see your eye doctor. They did an MRI and he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He got everything in order, to make sure that the girls and I didn't have to deal with any loose ends.
Ken Paulus: My mom was diagnosed with chronic leukemia roughly 10 years, before she passed away. She was the matriarch of our family, a very important kind of leader for our family. When my mom was in the final I'd say month or two of her life, her first reaction was to deny it and to be somewhat upset about it, that she did go through the stages of grieving and she had a very hard time with it. She was not ready and she didn't want to die in a hospital.
MaryBeth Wedum: Our doctor suggested we call hospice and Dana and I just thought well we can take care of him and we were both wearing out and finally I followed the doctor's orders and called hospice and realized I waited way too long. They gave John more peace of mind I think and one day John said to me, what do people do that can't stay home and have them come into their home, because that was his desire was to stay home. That's a tough one, because you know Allina Health doesn't have a residential and there's very – just a handful in, in the cities. And he said well you know maybe we should do something.
Ken Paulus: My mom – she did die in hospice. She died at home. Her desire ultimately to die at home and not be in a hospital, not that she didn't get, get great hospital care, she did. So she passed away at home with her family around her, her hospice coordinator with her, that's what everybody deserves in this community.
Dale Vesledahl: If John was here, he would be really, really, really proud.
MaryBeth Wedum: I plead with the community, if you don't know anything about hospice, find out about it, because someday everybody's going to need it.
Ken Paulus: You know I think what my mom would say to all of us, to me or to anybody that she came in contact with was kinda what I heard as a kid to make a difference. Just stand up for something, get behind something. Believe in something that makes a difference for our community and boy I gotta tell ya, we're doing it at Allina Health. Everyday we do it with our mission, but particularly right now with this hospice we are, we are living to her expectations of making a difference and that's really what it would be all about.
In 2003, a Minnesota businessman named John Wedum, who had cancer and was facing the end of his life, received in-home hospice care from Allina Health Hospice. In his honor, the J.A. Wedum Foundation issued a challenge grant to Allina Health Hospice to build a 12-bed residential hospice.
In April 2011, the J.A. Wedum Foundation and Allina Health, construction began on the residential hospice. The J.A. Wedum Residential Hospice opened its doors to the community and began accepting patients in February 2012.
Allina Health Hospice Foundation
For information on our programs or to make a gift, contact the Allina Health Hospice Foundation or call 651-241-5460.
Hospice Foundation newsletter
Wedum Compassion Fund
The Wedum Compassion Fund helps patients who need a residential hospice, but cannot afford the room and board expenses; these expenses are generally not covered by Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. For more information, please call 651-241-5419.
Volunteers are needed to give of their time and talents at the Wedum Hospice. Flexible schedules are available.