Casey House Helps Family Say Goodbye: Nursing and Rehab

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elder couple by pool in nursing homeRichard and Ann Philbin celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their family and friends on June, 16th 2001. They have both led busy but productive private and public lives. Richard received his J.D. from Boston College Law School and practiced law in Massachusetts before joining the Kennedy White house in 1961. After Kennedy’s assassination, he moved to small business administration, where he worked until his retirement in 1983.

Even during retirement, he continued to work part-time for a medical transcription firm. Ann worked as a registered nurse and in the administration of nursing homes for 20 years. She also has been teaching art fort the Montgomery County Recreation Department for the last 20 years. The couple has six children and ten grandchildren, and they enjoy attending sporting events and traveling together.

In September of 2001, the couple traveled to New England and Canada. After they returned home, Richard complained about a pain under his ribs. He visited his family Doctor, who sent him for further testing at the Washington Hospital Center. Richard was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given the option to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatment, but there was no promise of a cure. Not wanting to undergo the painful treatments, Richard requested to be transferred to Casey House, a Hospice facility operated by Montgomery County Hospice.

The Hospice facility was able to help the family and Richard during this difficult time. According to Ann, Richard spoke of his last eight days as, “one of the best weeks of my life.” Their children, grandchildren, family, and friends were all afforded the opportunity to spend time with Richard, and the caring staff was always present to attend to his needs. The pain management that they offered allowed Richard to fully enjoy his final days because, as Ann relates, “He was out of pain and happy.”

The entire family is now thankful for the services they received from the thoughtful staff at Casey House: “We can’t say enough good things about the caring and compassionate staff and volunteers at the Casey House. We would all want the same for ourselves. We have put a Stone in his memory in their path, and we named our new Standard Poodle ‘Casey.'” The memory of Richard and of the conscientious hospice care he received continues to live on in the hearts of his wife and family.

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