VITAS Advantage: Case Study on 24/7/365 Care Support for Long-Term Care Facilities

Families See Value in 24/7 Access to Hospice Teams

In a study of older patients with advanced dementia, researchers found that hospice care was associated with significant improvement in symptom management, caregiver burden, and satisfaction with care among participants’ families.

The study authors state that “all the families mentioned that the (hospice) program gave them a sense of being supported and that they would recommend it to others.” Many caregivers said they “felt more comfortable caring for their loved one, that suffering had been decreased, and that they learned more about the trajectory of dementia.”

Families cited around-the-clock access to the hospice multidisciplinary team and the team’s professionalism as the most valuable aspects of hospice care. Specifically, they appreciated staff members who were available by telephone 24/7 and who made additional visits as needed.

In the Israeli study, the hospice social worker who met with the family upon admission kept in close contact by phone and follow-up visits. Every patient was assessed for swallowing and potential aspiration difficulties, and a spiritual care provider visited as needed.

In summary, families reported that the hospice team helped improve the patient’s quality of life and reduce caregiver burden.

VITAS provides 24/7/365 clinical support to patients in long-term care in important ways:

  • The round-the-clock availability of VITAS hospice staff maintains your organization’s reimbursement/payment stream for non-hospice services and supports aging in place by bringing a range of hospice services—medical, emotional, and spiritual—directly to your resident. Avoiding relocation at the end of life is both emotionally and financially beneficial for the patient/family.
  • When you refer to VITAS, you can trust its Telecare clinicians to answer any questions from your staff, your resident, their family or caregiver. When medically necessary, a VITAS clinician can respond at the bedside to address and stabilize a symptomatic resident/patient, ensuring your staff always has back-up in case complex medical needs arise.
  • Once a patient is receiving VITAS services, emergent conditions can often be handled without emergency measures. The priority at VITAS is providing high-quality care, supporting your staff, and keeping your residents out of the ED to help maintain your positive relationships with referring hospitals.

Source: Sternberg, S., Sabar, R., & Bentur, N. (2019). Home Hospice for Older People with Advanced Dementia: A Pilot Project. Israel Journal of Health Policy Research, 8(1), 42. DOI: 10.1186/s13584-019-0304-x

Is your patient ready for hospice?

Meet the VITAS Hospice Team

A VITAS physician

Physician

The physician closely monitors the progression of the patient’s illness, prescribes appropriate medications and coordinates care with other members of the team.
A VITAS hospice nurse

Hospice Nurse

The hospice nurse is skilled in assessing and managing pain and other symptoms. A nurse may also help with personal care.
A VITAS hospice aide

Hospice Aide

Hospice aides provide personal care to the patient. They are also the “eyes and ears” for the rest of the hospice team.
A VITAS social worker

Social Worker

The social worker acts as a friendly and skilled listener and provides emotional support.
A VITAS volunteer

Volunteer

The hospice volunteer can bring music or a Paw Pals animal companion, and spends quality time with the patient and family.
A VITAS chaplain

Chaplain

The chaplain ministers to the spiritual needs of patients and families of all faiths, and can work with their clergy.
A VITAS bereavement specialist

Bereavement Specialist

The bereavement specialist provides grief and loss support to the patient's loved ones.
The VITAS Care Team