Story of Hope – A new comfort care home coming to the west side

By on February 12, 2018
Story of Hope Logo

Comfort care homes are an essential component to care at the end of life. It is care in a home-like setting that helps and soothes a person who is terminal. The goals are to relieve suffering as much as possible and improve overall quality of life while respecting the person’s dying wishes. Unlike a nursing home or hospice home, a comfort care home only cares for two people at a time. The small personal setting provides a home-like atmosphere.  Volunteers, nurses and a hospice-nursing agency provide care.

Bernie Iacovangelo (left) gifted land to the Story of Hope for construction of a comfort care home in Chili (rendering below). Provided photos

Bernie Iacovangelo (left) gifted land to the Story of Hope for construction of a comfort care home in Chili (rendering below). Provided photos

There are only nine comfort care homes in Monroe County and only three of them are located on the west side of the city, limiting the county to only 18 beds available to those who are dying and wanting to spend their final days in a comfort care home. Arlene Nanry is a hospice nurse who has devoted most of her career to helping those who are terminal. Through her experience in caring for the dying, she saw there was not enough comfort care homes in the area to meet the need of people. Her compassion led her to form a group of volunteers to help her develop this idea into a solution.

The Story of Hope dream turned into a reality when a generous local businessman, Bernie Iacovangelo, gifted land to the Story of Hope to build a comfort care home. The residential land is located in Chili and is the perfect setting for the Story of Hope.  Although it’s not official yet, Arlene is hopefully anticipating a grant from New York State to help with building expenses, thanks to the help of Senator Joe Robach. Ground breaking is planned to take place this spring. In addition to the construction of the home, the annual budgeted operating expenses are $200,000 per year. The home is non-profit and there is no cost to their guests. Donations for operating costs are accepted from families and the community, as well as funds acquired from fundraisers.

STORY OF HOPE POSTER_042117.inddThe home will be unique, as it will have special beds that do not have a weight restriction. In Arlene’s experience, she has seen how the weight restrictions can be limiting to families. She felt strongly about having the accommodations to help the terminal without weight restrictions.  She also plans to open the home to children on a case-by-case basis.  Arlene’s years of experience in nursing hospice patients has opened her heart to providing the best care possible to people who are in their final chapter of life.

Arlene Nanry. Provided photo

Arlene Nanry. Provided photo

“I love what I do by helping people enjoy their final days as much as possible,” said Arlene.

On Saturday, February 24, the Story of Hope is holding a Masquerade Ball. The event is a fundraiser for the home as well as to honor the generosity of Bernie Iocavangelo. The event will be held at the Doubletree Hotel with Master of Ceremonies Josh Nichols, a meteorologist from WROC. The evening will consist of dinner, dancing, prizes and an auction.

Tickets can be purchased from the Story of Hope website. All proceeds will go to the non-profit comfort care home. On Saturday, June 16, the Story of Hope has “Your First Mud Run” taking place at Gates Memorial Park. This is also a fundraiser and the only mud run in the county designed for both parents and kids to do together. This family friendly mud run has up to 16 obstacles and is just less than 2 miles long.  To learn more about the Story of Hope, the fundraisers or to volunteer or make a donation, visit storyofhoperochester.com.

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