CORNING - An open house will be held from 1-5 p.m. Nov., 24, allowing the public to tour Bampa’s House, a non-profit comfort care home determined to improve the end-of-life care experience.
Joan Wilson, President of the Bampa’s House Board of Directors, said Bampa’s House, which will serve the Steuben, Chemung, and Schuyler county areas, is expected to open late this year or in early 2020.
“We want the community to learn more about the (170 East First St.) home and understand what a resource it will be for this community,” Wilson said. “We also want people to see the amount of work and love that went into the restoration and retrofitting of the historic home."
Wilson said countless people have been involved in the renovation, many of whom volunteered their time and resources to help get the job done.
“We’d like to think of this open house as a way of saying thank you to them so they can showcase their work,” Wilson said. “It also serves as a thank you to those community members and organizations who donated to make this a reality.”
Wilson said renovations to the home will be complete by the end of the year, though there is still work desired beyond this first phase.
“We hope to be able to restore the carriage house to provide the home with additional storage,” Wilson said. “We also want to create a beautiful outside garden area for the home’s residents to enjoy. However, due to some surprises during the first phase, we just didn’t have the funds to do that work yet.”
Wilson said instead, the decision was made to make the main home operable and comfortable so that it could open as soon as possible.
"I just remember this house because when I worked for the hospital it was a doctor's office. My office was (right nearby)," he said.
“This home is so gorgeous. They have done a wonderful job,” said Deacon Ray Defendorf, who toured Bampa’s House Wednesday. “I hope to volunteer with pastoral care or just sitting with the people and visiting when it opens, but for now I’m just so impressed with the work.”
The mission is to make a person’s last days as comfortable, safe, and peaceful as possible. Bampa’s House wants to give people the opportunity to spend the final days of their lives focused on their family, friends, and comfort.
Wilson said usually a person interested in a Care First organization finds out from a physician that they have a terminal illness and they don’t have much time left to live. The Care First organization typically received the request for hospice care and people come to homes like Bampa's House asking if there is a bed available.
There is no charge to the residents, Wilson said. There are usually four components for funding, one is grants, two is corporate sponsorship, three is benefits, and four is sometime residents are so grateful they make a donation
The non-profit Bampa’s House is named after the deceased Jim Dugan, who was called Bampa by his grandchildren. He was a life-long resident of the Corning-Painted Post area, spending his career at Corning Community College, volunteering through the Lions Club, and facilitating beer tastings with the Better Beer Boys, a local beer tasting group.
To learn more about Bampa’s House, go to www.bampashouse.org.