Riverside opens new comfort care room

Duane Hicks

Riverside Health Care Facilities, Inc. celebrated the opening of its new comfort care room at La Verendrye Hospital yesterday.
The room, located on the second floor nursing unit, provides patients with a place to spend time with their families just before the end of their lives.
“The goal of palliative care is to provide compassionate [care] and relieve suffering for patients with an illness for which there is no cure,” Lori Maki, executive vice-president of Riverside, said during the grand-opening ceremony yesterday morning.
“We wish for all patients nearing end of life to die in comfort and with dignity while treating them with respect and acceptance, acknowledging their right to privacy and confidentiality and responding caringly to their individual needs,” she added.
Maki said it has long been the dream of Glenna Morand, former nurse manager of the Continuing Care Unit (CCU) at La Verendrye, to have a palliative care room for patients and their families.
“Glenna’s vision inspired others to follow in pursuit of her dream, and through the support of senior administration, managers, and staff, we come to celebrate this memorable day,” Maki remarked.
“We are fortunate to be able to provide this room for patients through the generous donations from our local businesses, service clubs, community, and family memorials,” she added.
The comfort care room is set up with a hospital bed for the patient, but there are many features to make it feel like home—from the comfortable couches and chairs for family members to sit on to soft lighting and paintings on the walls.
There’s also a bulletin board near the patient’s bed, where family members can post photos, cards, and other items to remind the patient how much they’re loved.
The room also has a virtual fireplace, a CD player to provide soothing music, and a TV which can play DVDs of pleasant, relaxing scenes.
There is a kitchen counter, complete with a sink and small fridge, as well as a private bathroom.
“This newly-renovated room is beautiful, spacious, and uniquely-designed so patients may receive quality care in a comfortable, family-friendly environment,” noted Maki.
“While we are able to provide hospital-level care, we do so in a home-like setting, with room to accommodate family members and their loved ones,” she explained.
Given the hospital only has one room like the comfort care room, Maki said Riverside is asking patients and their families to be understanding if the room is not available during their time of need.
“Our inter-professional team ensures appropriate and efficient admissions to the palliative care room, and for discharges of patients no longer requiring the level of care provided,” she noted.
“Riverside is committed to the quality care of all our patients, and ensures that care and support is provided throughout all of our facilities,” she pledged.
Yesterday’s grand opening ceremony included a ribbon cutting in the comfort care room, with Maki, Morand, Karen Sockolotuk of Stan’s Carpet and Drapery, bed management coordinator Bonnee Kielczewski, Susan Carmody and Dana Lyn Begin of RBC Financial Group, and Teresa Hazel, director of the Riverside Foundation for Health Care, doing the honours.