What can VITAS do for the family of a patient with ESLD?
When a patient has ESLD, the responsibility and toll on his or her loved ones can be great. Family members may have to make difficult healthcare and financial decisions, act as caregivers and provide emotional support to others. If the decision is made to stop medical support, families experience strong emotions and feel overwhelmed.
Having worked successfully with thousands of patients with ESLD, their families, physicians and loved ones, we have learned that no two families are alike. Our mission is to provide care for family members in the manner they wish.
Some examples of VITAS’ comprehensive services for the families of patients with ESLD include:
- Caregiver training – The caregiver is vital in helping hospice professionals care for the patient. For this reason, VITAS staff teach caregivers how to provide basic care to ensure the patient is comfortable and safe in the home.
- Caregiver education – As the patient gets weaker, symptoms increase and communication becomes more difficult. We relieve families’ concerns by educating them on how best to care for their loved one.
- Help with difficult decisions – VITAS helps families make tough choices that impact the patient’s condition and quality of life—for example, whether or not to give antibiotics for a recurrent infection.
- A VITAS nurse by phone 24/7 – Even the most experienced caregivers will have questions and concerns. With Telecare®, they don’t have to wonder, worry or wait for an answer. The heartbeat of VITAS after hours, Telecare provides trained hospice clinicians around the clock to answer questions or dispatch a member of the team to the bedside.
- Emotional and spiritual assistance – As families accompany a loved one in an end-of-life journey, they may need support to maintain their spiritual and emotional well-being. We will provide the resources to meet individual needs.
- Financial assistance – Although VITAS services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid/Medi-Cal and private insurers, families often have financial concerns brought about by their loved one’s extensive illness. VITAS social workers can assist families with financial planning and finding financial assistance during hospice care. After a death, they can help grieving families find financial assistance through human services, if needed.
- Respite care – Caring for a loved one with an end-stage illness can cause tremendous stress. VITAS can arrange for temporary inpatient care for the patient to give the caregiver a short break.
- Bereavement services – Bereavement is a time of mourning after a loss. The hospice care team will work with family members to help them express their grief in a personal, appropriate manner. Grief and bereavement resources are available for a full year after a death.
Hospice care for patients with ESLD
Signs it might be time for hospice
What can VITAS do for a patient with ESLD?
What are the overall benefits of hospice care?
How can I approach the hospice discussion?