Come enjoy a free networking and fundraising event in support of Comfort House. The Rio Grande Valley is very blessed to have Comfort House (Casa del Consuelo), and its staff and volunteers providing a home-like setting with round-the-clock care to terminally ill persons. It is a loving, caring environment for both the residents and their family.

This licensed, non-profit Special Care Facility located in McAllen has served over 1,500 persons and their families from the entire Rio Grande Valley and beyond, relying solely on donations from the families, the business community, and small grants from the City of McAllen and the United Way ESG Program.

Comfort House’s mission is to provide an environment where a person can die in tranquility and with dignity. Fundraising is crucial to continue serving as Comfort House does not receive any government funding or bill for their services.

Everyone is invited to come to Landsky & Brats restaurant in McAllen, 400 Nolana, for this TGIG Social Mixer on Friday, Sept. 17, from 5 to 7 p.m. Meet and chat with the owners, Ted and Diane Cureton, and do some networking. You’ll enjoy some wine and hors d’oeuvres. There is no cost. The Curetons are hosting this event in their effort to help Comfort House continue serving the terminally ill in our area. Any tax deductible donations or pledges will be appreciated.

Comfort House was founded in October 1989 by Sr. Marian Strohmeyer, RSM, under the auspices of the Diocese of Brownsville. It is now a 10-bedroom, open-diagnosis facility for ANY person with a prognosis of four or less months of life.

End-of-life (hospice) care is often provided in the patient’s home with the support of a local hospice provider, but sometimes the patient’s family is unable to cope with the responsibility. Additionally, some hospice patients do not have family or friends to care for them. This is where Comfort House fills the need in the community.

Family members and loved ones are encouraged to participate in their loved one’s care as they are willing and able. Many times, it is the family members who find Comfort House to be the best place to be during this sorrowful time in their lives. They are about to lose someone they love. But, the living still continues at Comfort House.

Hospice is not curative, but palliative in concept in that it places emphasis on providing a comforting, and dignified setting for the patient. The hospice team of professionals and volunteers coordinate pain management, medical, emotional, and spiritual support while respecting the rights of the patient for his or her own participation. There is a misconception that feeding tubes are not accepted at Comfort House, and that their loved one will “suffer”. On the contrary, any feeding (nutritional) or medicinal treatment by tubing is acceptable. The type of medical care is determined by the person’s physician or by the hospice medical director and the family, not by Comfort House.

Volunteers remain an integral part of Comfort House. They are trained to provide both the patient and family with companionship, homemaker services, caregiving training, and compassionate support. It is a tranquil environment.

Administrator, Mary Botello, states that every person that comes through their doors immediately becomes family. Death is sometimes the least prepared for event in a person’s life, but Comfort House is a special place that believes that death is an integral part of the life cycle, and that their work is to do their best for the living and not the dying. The only thing that changes is the type of treatment, but medical treatment and care never stop. Indeed, the time that a terminally-ill person resides at Comfort House is often considered an extraordinary experience for the family.

Please feel free to call (956) 687-7367, or come by at 617 Dallas Avenue, McAllen, to learn about this very special work or for volunteering opportunities.

Let’s support Comfort House’s vital role in the Rio Grande Valley. I encourage everyone to attend and enjoy great food and wine at Landsky & Brats at 400 Nolana in McAllen on Friday, September 17th, from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. You can also mail a donation. Bring your friends! SEE YOU THERE !!

Mary Garza Cummings is a freelance writer. For comments, contact her at askseniorfocus@aol.com