House of Serenity
The Macky & Pam Stansell House of Coastal Hospice provides a safe and comfortable place to call home for patients who are unable to manage alone or need more help than family can provide
Photography by Grant L. Gursky
Residents at the new Macky & Pam Stansell House of Coastal Hospice enjoy their final months, weeks or days in a uniquely peaceful and dignified way, experiencing beautiful surroundings and attended to by an experienced staff.
The Lower Shore’s first residential hospice features three floors of comprehensive support, blended with a sense of ease that comes from feeling as if you were living at home.
Set on 11 acres of picturesque waterfront property on the Isle of Wight Bay, Stansell House, as it is called in conversation, has been a decade in the making. Alane Capen, president of Coastal Hospice, shared that along the way, the need for such a facility grew exponentially, driven by the growing population of retirees across the Lower Shore.
“Hospice was designed to be a home-based program, largely to serve people in their own houses, which assumes a level of at-home support,” said Capen. “But there are often situations in which the first spouse has passed away, or the family lives far away, or the care needs are too great to stay in the home. Stansell House allows those patients a safe, comfortable alternative.”
Residents can enjoy many luxuries on the main level, where a dozen bedroom suites are flanked by a family room, kitchen, spa and other amenities. There is an outside deck with inviting rockers that overlooks a beautiful garden.
On the lower level, versatile office space allows staff members, nurses and volunteers to hold meetings, trainings and support groups. The upper level has two exam rooms and a physician’s office for palliative care for patients who are facing a serious illness but not receiving hospice care.
A major differentiator between traditional assisted-living residences and nursing homes is that Stansell House provides around-the-clock service from a fully trained hospice staff, especially comforting to patients who have no family close by and spend much of their time alone. The outdoor setting offers its own distinction, where acres of marshland serves as home to wildlife and leads to a beautiful view of the bay and the twinkling lights of Ocean City.
The house is named for lead donors Macky and Pam Stansell, owners of the popular Macky’s Bayside Bar & Grill. For Macky in particular, the house has been a passion, which he often relates in a story about how he and his wife went from using services to becoming donors. Macky later served as a Coastal Hospice board member and the couple was voted as the project’s namesake in recognition of their dedication.
“About 12 years ago, Pam’s mother was dying of cancer, and Pam and her sister were discussing moving her mother into our home; I was so against it,” he recalled. “I didn’t know what it would mean to our lives or how we would do it, but it turned into the most humbling learning experience. She was with us in comfort for six weeks, and hospice was amazing.”
Donors can continue to contribute to the project. Coastal Hospice offers naming opportunities from rockers on the back porch to full patient rooms. To learn more about the “Put Your Name on It” campaign, visit www.StansellHouse.org.
As Coastal Hospice prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020, Stansell House is the latest addition to offerings that include its Salisbury-based headquarters and its short-term hospice care facility, Coastal Hospice at the Lake, as well as a new office in Cambridge to better serve Dorchester County.
“At our core, we promote dignity and quality of life for patients who face life-limiting illness, and support and education for their families,” said Capen. “The Stansell House offers a crucial opportunity for us to branch out and provide our services in a new and different way. It’s a game-changer.”
MACKY & PAM STANSELL HOUSE OF COASTAL HOSPICE