Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Comfort Zone

Regional Hospice, an incomparable haven for life’s last journey



My husband, Gary, arrived at Regional Hospice in Danbury on a Tuesday night, just after the Labor Day holiday weekend. He had been transported by ambulance from Yale–New Haven Hospital, where his doctors informed us that he had less than a month to live. Ten months earlier, we were about to celebrate 40 years together. Our son and daughter were in wonderful places in their lives. My husband’s newest business venture was taking off. Life was good. Then, a diagnosis of bladder cancer created a major detour. As a result, my husband sought various treatments, from alternative therapies to chemo, none of which halted the disease. Over the course of his illness, he lost 80 pounds and was in constant pain. My once-vibrant, ever-optimistic soul mate was now a battered, beaten-up shadow of his former self. I held his hand as he leaned delicately on the edge of his bed. He smiled wanly at me and said, “This is no fun.”

Yet within minutes of our arrival at Regional Hospice, a trio of caregivers quietly and gently got busy making my husband as comfortable as possible—restoring the pain medication that had dwindled during the long ambulance ride, adjusting his bed and pillows to accommodate his diminished frame, rustling up from the private kitchen the kind of bland food he now craved, and, not insignificantly, finding his favorite sports channels on the large, flat-screen TV. As these efficient angels of mercy cheerfully went about their business, I stepped aside to take in my surroundings.

The private L-shaped suite, one of 12, is spacious and luxurious with a tall bay window and large French doors that open to a private balcony overlooking a peaceful, woodland setting. The dark-wood floors and furniture complement cream-colored walls. A round table and four comfortable chairs fit into the curve of the bay window. A long leather couch opens to a full-size bed for visiting family, and a leather recliner is ideal for relaxing. The commodious corner bath feels like a retreat with its tasteful tiling, dark-glass-paneled doors, modern fixtures, and subtle lighting. There is no hospital feel, but instead a boutique-hotel vibe.

Nestled just off the Mill Plain Road exit of I-84, the year-old Regional Hospice and Home Care (RHHC), over a decade in the making, is uniquely designed to make a person’s final transition as dignified and uplifting as possible. Family spaces are light-filled and gorgeously decorated, from the communal kitchen, sunny sitting rooms, and living rooms with fireplaces and aquariums to the library, chapel, outdoor playground, and furnished terrace. Round-the-clock care is delivered by a loving staff of professionals, from nurses and social workers to ministers and even a notary public. A skilled chef honors almost any request as he prepares delicious, seasonal foods. Many patients, my husband included, who had no appetite on arrival, take pleasure in eating once again. For the brief period patients have left, they are, in a way, revived. 

Guiding the design of the facility, Cynthia Roy, president and CEO of RHHC, has a passion and drive that was fueled early in her life when her best friend passed away. “Lesley, who died many years ago, changed my life forever—and probably one of the reasons I became a social worker and was compelled to care for the dying,” Roy says. She recalls how her friend longed for fresh air in her sealed room, and so Roy had to carry her outside. As a result, every suite at RHHC has bedside access to a balcony and fresh air—no matter the weather. In order for Roy and her team to realize their vision, other obstacles had to be overcome such as changing outdated regulations that called for a water fountain by each bedside, phone booths in the hallways, and curtains between beds—none of which were close to current best practices or supportive of private-room environments.

Perhaps what sets Regional Hospice apart from other such places is that employees have a genuine vocation to relieve suffering and bring joy to the dying, so much so that a majority of them donate a portion of their paycheck to support RHHC’s fundraising efforts. It’s an amazing endorsement and probably accounts for the atmosphere of respect and harmony that is so palpable. Trained volunteers and free support groups are additional bonuses.

A week before my husband died, he called to tell me about the delicious butternut-squash soup he was enjoying. He sounded like himself, his voice strong and happy. “You don’t need to bring anything,” he said. “I’m all set, and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

            

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Catch the Vibe Newsletter

Weekend activities and events in the area
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Ridgefield Out & About - July/August

Like a Rolling Stone

An original theater for town

Bernard’s Backyard Bounty

A chef’s secret garden source––Bernard’s and Sarah’s Wine Bar

Hilltop Haven

Endless skies, lush gardens, and a sparkling pool

RVNA Annual Breakfast

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

July 2017

Sunday, July 23, 12:00 – 4:00 pm Free and open to the public. Movement, yarn, and up-cycled materials are woven together in a spectacular celebration of rug-inspired crafts. Enjoy an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Beres Hammond returns to headline the 2017 Westside Reggae Festival on Sunday, July 23! There isn’t an aspect of romantic relationships that Beres Hammond hasn’t transformed into a...

Cost: Advance $25-45, Day of $35-55

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave. Ext.
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-9226
Contact Name: Phyllis Cortese
Website »

More information

The final concert celebrating Bel Canto at Caramoor features a choral gem from one of opera’s greatest composers. Rossini surprised the musical world by retiring from the theater when he was...

Cost: $20, $35, $50, $65

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

JUDD APATOW is considered one of the most sought-after comedy minds in the business.  He has been closely associated with many of the biggest comedy films and hit TV shows over the...

Cost: $35-55

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: (203)438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Paula Poundstone, Demetri Martin, Bill Burr, John Mulaney, Elliot Zimet and Judy Gold, Tom Papa, Tim Hawkins, Judd Apatow and Boomer Comedy Unlimited with Judy Tenuta, Carol Siskind, Ken Rogerson...

Cost: Orch $55 | Mezz $45 | Balc $35

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

George Thorogood and the Destroyers are doing what they do best – live touring! The “Rock Party Tour” promises to raise the bar, rock the house and tear off the roof like never...

Cost: $90

Where:
Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: 203-438-5795
Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

​Pat Benatar and husband Neil “Spyder” Giraldo have always been a rule-breakers and trail-blazers! The dynamic duo remain bold and distinctive artists both on...

Cost: $125

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: (203)438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Premier folk artists of Ensemble Barynya will present an evening of dances, songs, and virtuoso performances from the Russian tradition. Accompanied by instruments such as the Balalaika and...

Cost: Adult $10, Child $5

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Ridgefield Magazine Broadway and Cabaret Series The PERFECT Girls’ Night Outback! Australia’s HOTTEST Export – Thunder From Down Under hits an intimate Vegas stage every night...

Cost: $40-55

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: (203)438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Gramophone magazine placed Artist-in-Resident Jason Vieaux “among the elite of today’s classical guitarists.” In his final concert of the season, Vieaux returns to the...

Cost: $25

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Preservation Hall Jazz Band (PHJB), known for their preservation of traditional New Orleans Jazz as well as bringing it to the new generation by performing with bands such as The Foo Fighters, My...

Cost: $52.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: (203)438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

The Music on the Hill Summer Chorus performs the Schubert Mass in E-Flat with artistic director Ellen Dickinson, Conductor. One of Schubert's last major works, the Mass in E-Flat is...

Cost: $20 in advance; $25 at the door; children/students free.

Where:
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
36 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Meet at the end of Michigan Road for an ice cream social to learn about and admire these magnificent insects. Bring a chair or blanket. 7:30 PM until 9:00 PM. ​ We will also be collecting...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
Katonah , NY


Website »

More information

The Big Easy comes to Caramoor when New Orleans pianist Henry Butler teams with trumpeter/arranger Steven Bernstein and The Hot 9 for a tour through the classic early songbooks of Fats Waller,...

Cost: $40, $45, $55, $65, $75

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

In the 25 years since the release of his self-titled solo debut album, saxophonist Dave Koz has received nine GRAMMY nominations, had nine number one albums on Billboard’s Current...

Cost: $87.50

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: (203)438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Mock Stock is a day long tribute band music festival.  From A to Z and all letters in between, Mock Stock salutes classic rock’s best bands. THIS YEAR’S LINE UP: Draw the Line...

Cost: Advance $20, Door $25

Where:
Ives Concert Park
43 Lake Ave. Ext.
Danbury, CT  06811
View map »


Telephone: 203-837-9226
Website »

More information

From Centerfield to Center Stage! Bernie Williams, the New York Yankees center fielder for 16 years, is best known for his long and storied career in pinstripes – a career that...

Cost: $25-90

Where:
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Sponsor: The Ridgefield Playhouse
Telephone: (203)438-5795
Contact Name: Vania Saintfery
Website »

More information

Barbara Nevins and the Southwest Cafe present the 11th annual Southwest Cafe Margarita Run to benefit the Ridgefield Sunrise Cottage. This festive 5k offers participants a healthy night out...

Cost: $35.00 registration (June 1 – July 29) $40 Race Day

Where:
Southwest Cafe
109 Danbury Rd
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Two-time Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster brings her crystal-clear voice and vivacious personality to Caramoor for a dazzling cabaret evening of song. Equally at home with showtunes, pop, and...

Cost: $30, $40, $50, $60, $75, $90, $100

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Website »

More information

Music Theatre of Connecticut presents the next installment of MTC’s Hot Summer Nights series, Leslie Orofino: “Cocktails with Cole: The Life and Music of Legend Cole Porter”....

Cost: $25-$35 for single tickets. Reservations suggested.

Where:
Music Theatre of Connecticut
509 Westport Ave.
Norwalk, CT  06851
View map »


Telephone: 203-454-3883
Website »

More information

Starting June 3rd thru August 27th, Ridgefield Golf Course offers families an opportunity to play golf. For $25 groups of up to 5 people can play a few holes (golf cart included). Tee times are...

Cost: For $25 groups of up to 5 people

Where:
Ridgefield Golf Course
545 Ridgebury Road
Ridgefield, CT
View map »


Website »

More information

There’s a new theatre in the neighborhood, committed to producing ambitious, thought provoking plays and readings. Thrown Stone, the brain child of  co-artistic directors Jason Peck...

Cost: $29-$49

Where:
Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance
440 Main Street
Ridgefield, CT  06877
View map »


Website »

More information

Each year Stamford Downtown hosts a distinguished outdoor sculpture exhibit designed to attract both local and regional audiences. Art in Public Places Outdoor Sculpture exhibit features sculptures...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Downtown
, CT


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags