Understanding Barbara Bush's 'comfort care' on National Healthcare Decisions Day
The buzzwords “comfort care” are creating questions since the Bush family announced that former First Lady Barbara Bush, 92, will no longer seek medical services. Bush lives with illnesses that include congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.
Instead, the family announced that Mrs. Bush is now receiving “comfort care” at her Houston home and news outlets report she is spending time with her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, and her sons, former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
But what does "comfort care" actually mean? With today being National Healthcare Decisions Day – meant to educate and empower people about making advance care plans for their healthcare wishes – it’s important to know.
Comfort care can include the type of services that JourneyCare provides each day to more than 3,000 patients and families who are living with life-limiting illness. Their interdisciplinary care teams can include social workers, nurses, chaplains, Certified Nursing Assistants, volunteers, physicians and bereavement counseling. Whether patients live in private residence, a community or in our CareCenters throughout a 10-county region—JourneyCare provides care wherever they call home.
Though Barbara Bush’s family has not shared the specifics of the comfort care she is receiving (each patient’s care plan is unique), the news of her healthcare should make us pause on National Healthcare Decisions Day to think about the conversations we should have with our families, what questions we should ask … and what choices we should make in advance in case a healthcare decision had to be made on our behalf.
To empower residents in local communities to take charge of their healthcare in a way that’s best for them and to honor National Healthcare Decisions Day, JourneyCare will host Life is a Journey tomorrow, April 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Hamburger University on the McDonald’s Campus in Oak Brook.
This unique, educational program focuses on encouraging attendees to complete advance care planning – having conversations about unexpected and difficult healthcare challenges they could face. Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, author of the epilogue to her husband’s #1 bestselling, autobiographical book on dying in his 30s, “When Breath Becomes Air,” is the featured speaker. Former ABC-7 news anchor Ron Magers and his wife, Elise, who is a JourneyCare Board Member, will moderate.
The evening will include a cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres. Everyone attending will receive a copy of “When Breath Becomes Air.” Educational materials on advance care planning will also be available. Tickets to Life is a JourneyCare are $25 and you can register on the JourneyCare website at journeycare.org/lifeisajourney.