Sixth Floor Provides Blankets to Patients Transitioning to End of Life Care
The end of life is a natural part of the human experience, but it can be a challenging time for patients and families, as they grapple with uncertainty and a wide range of emotions.
For our Sixth Floor Medical Unit, their new donation of comfort blankets is one way teammates can provide support and a special token as their patient’s transition to Comfort Measures Only (CMO) status, preparing to enter hospice or discharge to their homes.
“Our team tried to really think about how it would be for patients and their families,” said Director Lynn Ligon. “You may have come in thinking you’re going to get well, and then you’re in the final bit of life’s journey. Then we were thinking about how we can make this time meaningful to the patient and their families.”
Inspired by the prayer blanket ministry at her church, Lynn and her team wondered whether they could provide a similar gift for these patients and their families. Her team collaborated with Volunteer Services to find volunteers to make and contribute blankets. Teammates have presented six blankets on their unit since they began the program this month.
“When we present these blankets, we let our patients know that it’s there to give them some comfort, letting them know we find it a privilege and honor to be with them for the last part of their life’s journey,” said Lynn. “The blanket is something tangible they can have when they get home and need to decompress.”
The blankets have also become a supplement to the Bereavement information our hospital provides to families when a patient passes which includes sympathy card and support information to the families during their time of need.
Meanwhile, the team’s administrative assistant, Kayla Whelan, wanting to support families who stay by the patient bedside, purchased a three-tiered cart and stocked it with snacks to provide those families with extra comfort and nourishment.
“Our team is very engaged with these efforts, and they want to bring more personalization to the experience of our patients and their families,” said Lynn. “We can’t make the hurt go away. We can’t help the feelings or pain the patients may have. But, we can provide a comforting and nourishing environment for them.”