Published on September 25, 2018

Innovation Award for Comfort Care

AUGUSTA, Maine – MaineGeneral Rehabilitation & Long Term Care – Glenridge received an Innovative Programming Award from the Maine Health Care Association at the association’s Celebrating Excellence event last Friday in Augusta.

The Innovative Programming Award recognizes long-term care facilities that have implemented a program that improves resident quality of life and/or quality of care.

MaineGeneral’s Glenridge facility was recognized for its program called Comfort Care, a short-stay, five-bed unit separate from the rest of the facility. Comfort Care is for patients with a terminal illness who qualify for nursing or skilled nursing care. The program began about a year ago and has served more than 50 patients. 

“Our goal with Comfort Care is to provide a safe, homelike environment for patients with terminal illnesses to receive skilled or palliative care,” said Paul Stein, chief operating officer of MaineGeneral and CEO of MaineGeneral Long Term Care. “Residents have care needs that do not require an inpatient hospital stay but are unable to be met at home.” 

The program brings together nursing and other disciplines from the community, hospice, long-term care and the hospital, providing continuity of care – a seamless transition of care – for the patient. Nurses across the MaineGeneral system work together to provide the right level of care in the right facility, and in doing so avoid unnecessary hospital readmissions.

Patient, family and visitor comments have expressed appreciation for the level of care that is provided. 

Stein said future plans of Comfort Care include expanding this service and the building, but very purposefully so the quiet homelike environment is maintained.

“We also would like to add a kitchen and living room area for families. We envision an outside garden, and a quiet reflection or spiritual space for families. Many of the patients that we are serving are at the end of life and having a space for families to come together to share in their loved ones’ last days is so very important.”