VNA Hospice Taking Care of Patients and Families

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By Joe Faria, Executive Chef at Quail Valley Club, in Vero Beach, Fl, as told to the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA)

“My father-in-law was very ill, and it came to the point where his doctors were like, ‘There’s not a whole lot we can do at this time,’ and said they important thing to do was to make sure that he lived the rest of life comfortably as much as he could. And then they recommended contacting the VNA for hospice, and that’s the direction we went. 

The service was just impeccable. From the moment we called, they were like family. The whole atmosphere was, ‘Hey, you know we’re here for you. We’ve gone through this and we’re going to make things as simple as we can.’ There was no mystery behind it, there were no hidden curtains. They were very open.

One of the nurses that came over to the house, his name was Daniel, and he was superb. I felt like he was part of the family. He was saying ‘hi’ to the dogs – we do have a few dogs at the house – but he was just very patient, very calm, very educated, and he was very willing to educate us as well; he was very genuine with the whole family. 

We all also helped out, and then our family needed a break, so that’s when the VNA Hospice House came into the conversation. Daniel said, ‘If you need a few days break they have a respite program that’s available at VNA Hospice House,’ and we decided yes, let’s give everybody a break.

We dropped my father-in-law off on a Wednesday afternoon, and then I would check on him every day – we all would check on him – and every day my mother-in-law pretty much stayed with him until the nighttime. We really felt that the way the nurses would handle him, the way the whole place was run, was just incredible. It’s all very friendly, very welcoming, and you know they’re there taking care of the patient, but they’re also taking care of the family; that’s the part that really stood out. It wasn’t just ‘let me take care of the sick patient,’ it was also caring for my mother-in-law. They’re asking her, ‘Do you want a blanket? You need to get something to eat. We want to make things comfortable for you as well.’  

And the facility itself, it’s incredible. I mean, it’s clean, everyone’s very professional, and there’s a little outside patio that they have to sit down and a little garden if you want to go for a walk. There’s even a complimentary kitchen that they have and a fireplace and different rooms that you can just kind of take a break in, and for me personally and my wife, we thought that was very special that they had all those amenities. There was also a lot of information that was available. It’s like they know, they get it, they understand what the family is going through and not just what the patient is going through.   

My father-in-law’s release date to come back home was Monday, but by then he just started to really decline, and the doctor evaluated him and said they were going to keep him, so he was there Tuesday, and then on Wednesday afternoon he died; he was 88 years old.

The VNA offered aftercare. From the moment he passed, there was somebody there introducing himself and helping us through the grieving process, and my wife has definitely taken advantage of the program to talk to a counselor.”

*If you or someone you know is considering hospice or has questions about whether hospice is right for them, please contact us at 772-567-5551 or visit to find out more about VNA’s hospice services.


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