Our History

A First in Mid-Hudson Valley

A home for the dying is a care model currently thriving in locations in northern New York State since 1984, where terminally ill patients and their families have found this viable end-of-life option to be a welcome alternative.

NYS Homes for the Dying

After oncology social worker Elise Lark discovered the concept and visited a number of homes there, she brought her vision to local healthcare professionals and community leaders in Ulster County. In 2012, Barbara Sarah and Laurie Schwartz joined with Lark to launch Circle of Friends for the Dying, a non-profit organization chartered to open a home for the dying here, serving those with the greatest need and the fewest options. At the time, there were no comfort care options in the Mid-Hudson Valley, which underscored the urgency of CFD’s mission. (See more about our founders and board of directors here.)

70% of terminally ill people die in hospitals or nursing homes.

80-90% would choose to die at home, surrounded by loved ones, if that was an option.

Fewer than 25% actually do.

With no current hospice residence, hospital-based hospice unit, or Home for the Dying in Ulster or Dutchess Counties, Circle Home will be the first to provide a real home and a circle of support.

Read about our Plan for Circle Home.