Sister Philip and her assistant Sister Teresa Stephen --who goes by Sister Stephen-- invited the director of nursing Mary Miller and nurse practitioner Laura McNamara, both registered nurses, to answer questions about the care offered at the facility in Dorchester Heights that was once Carney Hospital.
Caring for nearly 300 residents, the staff of Marian Manor work to provide comfort and palliative care throughout patient transitions to end of life, and focus on maintaining best-practices.
"We try to make this a home-like environment for them," Miller said.
"My role is really to lead nursing as far as the art of nursing is concerned and also the science, make sure that we are doing things in a way that is evidence based," she said.
McNamara said she is available for communication 24-hours a day to help staff maintain high standards and continuity in the treatment that the residents receive at Marian Manor.
"Sister Philip and Sister Stephen's worldview is that there should be somebody on staff who can offer the more advanced nursing skills, diagnosing, taking care of people, and plans of care that encompass a more holistic view of the person," she said.
She said her position working with nurses and doctors allows a continuous presence of advanced training and experience at the facility bolstering the work of doctors who cannot be available at all times.
"They are here, they have their office practices, they see residents in hospitals, but I'm just here and I work in close collaboration with our medical director as well. So, I have a lot of support, but I am also here every day," Mcnamara said.
She said the mission at the facility and the vision of Mother Mary Angeline Teresa "is to care for our elders and to walk with them in this final stage of their life so they don't feel alone and they don't feel desperate, and they feel that people take care of them and are there to love and support them, and know that they are not a burden to society."
Sister Philip said even if physician assisted suicide becomes legal, the sisters will continue to walk with the elderly in respect for their lives following the teachings of the Church.
"That is why we have assembled such a good staff, so that we can meet all of their needs and their fears," she said.
At both facilities, sisters expressed the importance of standing up on behalf of those in their care, but also all the elderly and infirm threatened by the proposition of legalizing physician assisted suicide.
The order's superior, Mother Mark, expressed solidarity with the Little Sisters of the Poor when she confirmed that the sisters will never abandon the elderly or accept the notion of elderly as expendable elements of society.
"Somebody has to advocate for the elderly, and I guess that's up to people like the Little Sisters and the Carmelite sisters," she said.
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