The care team at Mount Hope is enhancing ways to make residents comfortable in their final days. From flannelette sheets, to soft new gowns with floral prints for the ladies and plaids for the men, to journals and CD players, everything is in place to aid a gentle passing.
To bring these palliative care items to residents’ rooms, the St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation funded the purchase of four carts. The initiative proved so successful that the St. Joseph’s Hospital/Mount Hope Auxiliary contributed funds for six additional carts. “Now we have one cart dedicated to each care unit,” says coordinator Rhonda Kukoly. She adds residents prefer to pass away on their own unit which they think of as home, and staff members want to stay with them to see them through.”
A testament to the difference these small comforts are making happened when a team member was helping a resident whose life was nearing the end. When the nurse put the resident in a new gown and tucked her into bed, the resident sighed happily and said, “Oh, it feels like home.”
To further enhance the care residents’ receive, the Mount Hope team is receiving palliative care training which includes pain and symptom management. As well, they are developing resources for family members to help them understand what to expect with end of life care.