Comfort♥Able – A blog about hospice care
A Bit About this Blog and the Author
If you have questions about hospice care and whether it’s the right option for you or your loved ones, we are here to help. Hospice of Morrow County, Inc. is a small, independent non-profit hospice organization that has provided home-based end-of-life care to terminally ill patients and their families in rural northcentral Ohio since 1991. This blog was started to provide our friends and followers with more frequent news and updates, insights and observations than through our regular newsletter, which is published 2-3 times annually. Posts to the Comfort♥Able blog will be made about twice a month, so we hope you will check back frequently.
The Comfort♥Able blog is written by Julia M. Blankenship, executive director of Hospice of Morrow County. Both of her parents were our patients, so she has a long-standing personal knowledge and connection to us. “I really strive to inform others about the invaluable service that hospice provides when a cure is no longer possible for a terminally ill patient. Research shows that patients can live longer and in better comfort under hospice care than without it, and our challenge is to share that insight with others, including patients, families, caregivers, physicians, etc.”
Comfort♥Able. What does this mean to you?
When I was trying to find a creative yet fitting title for our blog, I automatically turned to TV commercials. OK – I know. I just gave away that I am a commercial-holic…for the GOOD ones, that is. For example, I never miss the Super Bowl commercials – this past year I skipped the game (big mistake) and watched the commercials the next evening. Admittedly, some were too focused on pop culture references that I just didn’t get, but lots of innovative, funny, and poignant moments were created – just to sell an item or idea.
What I like about good commercials / advertisements is the use of language. One more recent trend is to take a phrase and separate the words by periods so as to emphasize each word, as well as the phrase as a whole. I borrowed from that concept for our blog title. “Comfort” is a key concept for hospice – used as a noun, we strive to provide comfort to our patients by controlling their symptoms and easing their pain. Used as a verb, we comfort patients through their physical as well as emotional struggles, and we comfort families to cope with an impending death and through the various stages of grief after their loved one has died.
“Able” used as an adjective means talented, gifted, competent, capable. In the context of hospice, it’s important to remember that most often our patients, although they are in the last stage of life, are still able to do and enjoy things that are important to them, like celebrations with family, reading a good book, playing cards or music, visiting with friends and neighbors, even mowing the grass or gardening. As hospice professionals, it is our job and privilege to help make those things possible for as long as possible.
Put the two words together, and “comfortable” connotes at ease, relaxed, happy, contented, calm – exactly the atmosphere that should surround someone who is facing death, whether they are confident in the promise of Heaven or even a bit afraid of the unknown. I hope that through our Comfort♥Able blog postings, we will be able to expand on the importance of all three words in serving our patients and their families and to our hospice practice.
Well, it’s time for me to personally make another move into the 21st Century! I’m not quite kicking and screaming, but we all know how hard change can be. But learning is a life-long process, and I want to continue to learn new skills to help keep Hospice of Morrow County current on various communications and technology developments – which can be hard in this fast-paced world!