barbara bush

Former First Lady, Barbara Bush passed this week. While our nation remembers and mourns, her end of life decisions brought “Comfort Care” to the forefront of a national conversation.

Community Health Foundation of Wright County and Lakeside Oasis have provided “Comfort Care” in Wright County since 2014. We are proud of the services we provide, and pray daily for our families peace and comfort. Our staff is always willing to talk, so reach out at any time: tel:763-684-1477

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“It’s a personal decision that she didn’t have to share, but hopefully it will encourage others to think about their choices, talk about their choices, document their choices and have those choices honored,” said Nathan Kottkamp, founder and chair of National Healthcare Decisions Day.

“Comfort care” usually refers to palliative care, which focuses on managing patients’ symptoms to keep them comfortable and retain their dignity, Warraich said.

“One of the common myths about palliative care is that they are being denied medical help,” Warraich said.

For heart failure patients, he said, “comfort care” usually means opting not to use a breathing machine or CPR. But patients do continue to receive medical treatment, including morphine to ease shortness of breath, and diuretics to remove excess fluid from their lungs, he said.

Heart failure patients, he said, often receive “escalating medical treatments until days before the end of life.” Their transition to comfort care can be abrupt, “like falling off a cliff,” he said.

“By bringing this into the sphere of discussion,” Warraich said, “we can start thinking about comfort and palliation long before they are in the clutches of death.”