Charleston – Josephine Cougill always wanted to make sure the needs of others were being met, even during her final days in the hospice program at Charleston Rehabilitation & Health Care Center. The example that cougill set was on the minds of her family earlier this year as they gave money donated in Cougill’s memory to this hospice program. The donations have enabled the center to remodel the hospice suite into a home-like environment where patients can have their loved ones around them until the end.
“She would be honored that the needs of others are being met at a difficult time,” said her son, Steve Cougill. She died on Feb. 23rd at age 89. Several of Cougill’s family members attended a dedication ceremony Wednesday afternoon for the remodeled hospcie suite at the health care center, 716 18th St. The suite has two rooms that are connected by a restroom and the suite can be closed off from the center’s corridor for privacy. The first room contains the patient’s bed and a recliner. The second contains a couch, love seat and chair, as well as an entertainment center with a television. This room is adorned with flower-patterned decorations.
“I think it’s beautiful and she would be very honored,” said her granddaughter, Kim Arthur. “Flowers were such a big part of her life. She was known for her gardens.” Her grandmother was a devout christian, so Arthur said she was not worried about dying. She said Cougill was more worried about how her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other family members were doing.
Arthur said the staff at Charleston Rehabilitation & Health Care Center was there to provide Cougill’s medication and keep her comfortable, while tending to the family and keeping them informed. “They just treated her like family,” Arthur said. Stacy St. John the center’s social service director, said the remodeled hospice suite will help provide comfort for families during trying times. St. John said Cougill was “near and dear” to the hearts of the center’s staff members, so they were happy to remodel the suite in her memory. They have prominently displayed a photograph of Cougill in the suite’s living room within a frame that reads, “Those who touch our lives, stay in our hearts forever.”