Model of Care
The comfort care home model
The vision for comfort care homes was developed over 20 years ago in Rochester, NY in response to the need for an alternative residence for AIDS patients who were in the final stages of life. Families and facilities were reluctant to offer their beds due to the nature of the illness. A Catholic church, named Corpus Christi, converted a family residence into a place of love and care throughout the dying process. Volunteers in the parish were recruited and trained to be the surrogate family. Local hospice programs provided professional assistance. Care at the home was provided without cost. This model of care has survived and multiplied in New York State because of the personal attention and a reputation for receiving those in the greatest need, with the least resources.
Cheryl Pletcher, founder of the Carolina Comfort Coalition, was the first director of a comfort care home in Geneseo, NY called Teresa House. The home was established with the cooperative work of the churches and the community. Teresa House has continued to serve residents and families over the 25 years it has been open for care.
The need for this type of care targets the most vulnerable populations that are uninsured, at the end of a life limiting illness, and wish to die in a home-like setting. The goal is to provide compassionate care, to the neediest of families, without concern as to the patient’s ability to pay.