Understanding Hospice

For many, the diagnosis of a life-limiting illness can be one of the most difficult times in life. Not knowing where to turn to next is a common fear. Understanding hospice can bring a wealth of comfort and knowledge to patients and families in need of end-of-life care.

Quality of Life

Hospice is a special kind of care for people who no longer expect a cure for their illness. Hospice focuses on living. It is a type of care that offers those affected by a life-limiting illness peace of mind that their quality of life is the focus of care.

Hospice treats the person, not the disease. It also helps the whole family and focuses on what people fear most—being in pain, being alone, losing control and being a burden to others.

Unique Care for the Patient and Family

Hospice provides medical, emotional and spiritual support to help those facing serious illnesses make a choice—to be comforted and cared for when they can no longer be cured, to be pain free, to live life to its fullest, and hospice provides support to both patients and families.

VNA Hospice Provides:

  • Managing pain and symptoms – Hospice staff can help control pain and symptoms through medication management and therapy services.
  • Medication management – Hospice nurses can help monitor and administer medication as well as assist in keeping a schedule for the patient and caregiver.
  • Care wherever you call home – Hospice care can be utilized in a person’s home, skilled nursing facility, assisted living residence, hospital, VNA Hospice House or wherever the patient calls “home.”
  • Counseling and Support – A team of highly-trained bereavement counselors, social workers and chaplains are available to patients, families and friends to offer grief support, adolescent counseling, one-on-one counseling or spiritual guidance through this difficult time.
  • Personal care – VNA hospice staff is available to help individuals with their daily routines. Tasks such as bathing, dressing and personal grooming can be difficult, and our hospice staff can assist with daily practices such as these.
  • Volunteer Support – VNA volunteers provide additional support for hospice patients and families for respite, to help run errands or just provide extra comfort and compassion.

It’s Never too Early for Hospice Care

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. 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.

The Importance of Advance Care Planning

While advance care planning is useful for anyone, it’s particularly important for those looking for the best end-of-life care experience and anyone considering hospice. For more information about Advance Care Planning, click here

Consider Using Five Wishes

Five Wishes® is an easy-to-use legal-document template written in everyday language that helps you plan, document and communicate how you want to be cared for in the event you become seriously ill. It allows your family, and caregivers, to know exactly what you want, so they don’t have to guess. It helps you express your desires in personal, spiritual, medical and legal matters and meets the legal requirements for an advance directive in 42 states, including Florida.

Download your copy of Five Wishes®