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Published: 10/9/2005

Nurse specialized in care of elderly

Betty K. Bloom, 78, formerly of Sylvania, a registered nurse and educator whose specialty became the care of elderly people, died Thursday in an Atlanta nursing home from complications of dementia.

She was in the Atlanta nursing home two years and, for three years before that, at the Franciscan Care Center.

In the late 1980s, she worked for several years at the care center in nursing leadership, education, and administration.

After that, she was office manager of Bloom Veterinary Clinic at Saxon Square, operated by her husband, Dr. Harold F. Bloom, for about a decade, until 2000.

Mrs. Bloom was interested for many years in the care of elderly people and, late in her career, made that a specialty, her daughter, Debra, said.

Her master's thesis was a proposal for a workshop to increase the knowledge and skill of nurses in the acute care of older people. She received her master's degree in 1986 from the University of Toledo. She also worked at the Lutheran Home in East Toledo.

She previously was a nurse educator at Flower Hospital and at Toledo Hospital, teaching nursing students and hospital staffers. She wanted her nursing students to become skilled diagnosticians, her daughter said. Most of all, though, her goal was to teach others how to care.

"She was really good at remembering that it's not just a patient you're treating, but a person," her daughter said. "And that person has a family, and you need to include the whole family in the caring for that person."

Born in Castalia, Ohio, Mrs. Bloom was a graduate of Sandusky High School. Her father was chief engineer of Medusa Cement. When he was transferred to York, Pa., she followed the family there.

She'd been impressed by nurses since childhood, and enrolled in the York Hospital School of Nursing, from which she received an award for outstanding scholastic achievement.

She worked at Toledo Hospital for three years and then went to Ohio State University, where she received a bachelor of science in nursing degree. At Ohio State, she met her husband, who was in veterinary school.

She was a homemaker for about a decade and was a former president of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association Auxiliary. She was a former president of the Toledo chapter of the American Association of University Women.

Mrs. Bloom was a golfer and bridge player. She and her husband belonged to the Gourmet Club and regularly were hosts to dinners in their home.

"They were very social and enjoyed dining and preparing meals," their daughter said. "She wanted to make sure all the details were taken care of, not just the food, but the candles had to be the right color and the table cloths impeccable. She thought about the total experience.

"She was very passionate about whatever she was involved in."

Mrs. Bloom was a member of Olivet Lutheran Church and, with her husband, was a leader in the congregation's 75th anniversary committee.

She was a member of the Palestine Chapter, Eastern Star.

Mrs. Bloom and her husband married Aug. 2, 1952. He died Aug. 18, 2002.

Surviving are her daughter, Debra Bloom; son, Richard Bloom, and brother, Kenneth Wahl.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the Reeb Mortuary, where the body will be after 7 tonight, with Eastern Star services at 8:30 p.m. in the mortuary.

The family suggests tributes to the northwest Ohio chapter of the Alzheimer's Association; Olivet Lutheran Church, or a charity of the donor's choice.



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