November is Home Care and Hospice Month, the perfect time to celebrate – and thank profusely – all the wonderful, compassionate caregivers throughout the country who dedicate their lives to others. And as a home care and hospice organization, we at the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) send a special shout-out to all of our amazing caregivers who are known for their compassion and skill. For them, being a caregiver isn’t a job, it’s a vocation.
In many ways, caregivers are unsung heroes since much of what they do goes unrecognized or misunderstood. Some patients receiving home care require just a few days or weeks for issues like post-surgery wound care or short-term physical therapy, while others need long-term care for chronic illnesses such as Parkinson’s. Another example of long-term care would be medication management for an elderly diabetic who is forgetting to take their insulin.
Typically, a doctor referral is needed for home care, and it is often covered by insurance. But if the home care company does not accept insurance or your particular insurance, then ask your doctor or better yet, a social worker in the hospital, for help with finding a home care company that does accept it.
Hospice is a special kind of home care for people who no longer expect a cure for their illness. What’s unique and indeed beautiful about hospice is its focus on quality of life, offering those affected by a life-limiting illness peace of mind. At the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA), symptom and pain management are cornerstones of our care, in addition to unique services such as music therapy and pet therapy.
Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of your home but can be provided in any environment in which you live, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities. But when care can no longer be managed at home, and if you live in Indian River County, the beautiful VNA Hospice House is an option.
Hospice is traditionally thought to be for those who are in the last six months of life, but some individuals receive hospice services for years if their disease process is slow. In addition, if they suddenly start to improve significantly then they will be discharged from hospice care.
Because hospice is focused on living, people who utilize hospice services earlier have more time to discuss goals and create an optimal plan of care designed around their wishes. This not only provides the hospice patient with peace of mind but their loved ones as well. What’s more, hospice’s focus on quality of life helps ensure that whatever remaining time a person has left on this earth will be serene.
Augmenting this serenity is the fact that hospice is a Medicare benefit. And if you’re too young for Medicare, don’t fret as nearly all insurance plans cover hospice. But if insurance doesn’t cover hospice or you’re uninsured, some hospice providers have charity programs. This includes the VNA, where we will always provide hospice care for those who are unable to pay for services thanks to the generosity of donors who give to the VNA & Hospice Foundation.
Caring for hospice patients takes a special kind of caregiver, so once again, let’s thank all those hospice caregivers – and all home care caregivers – for giving so much of their heart, talent and soul to their jobs – where would our world be without you?
*If you’d like to learn more about the Visiting Nurse Association’s home care and hospice, visit vnatc.com.
This information is for educational purposes. Please consult your physician for any medical issues. The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) is committed to bringing trusted and quality home care to Indian River and Brevard County patients. For more information about VNA services, call 772-567-5551 in Indian River County or 321-752-7550 in Brevard County, or visit www.vnatc.com.