Hospice is a Full Range of Care

Help During a Difficult Time

“Hospice care provides a full complement of services that helps people through a very difficult period in their life,” says Susan Acocella, a general manager for VITAS Healthcare.

VITAS provides coordinated care and offers support to patients and their families with a range of options that corresponds to their specific needs. Guided by an individualized care plan, hospice care often begins with routine home care and includes a number of specialized services.

“We give patients and their families choices about how their care is delivered, what their goals of care are, and the level of emotional, social and clinical support they want,” says Acocella.

Four Types of Care

VITAS offers four levels of care as defined by the Medicare Hospice Benefit:

  • Routine home care. Most hospice care is provided at home, wherever patients call home: private residence, nursing facility or assisted living facility.
  • Continuous home care (Intensive Comfort Care®). When medically necessary, acute symptom management is provided wherever the patient lives by hospice staff in shifts up to 24 hours/day so the patient can avoid hospitalization.
  • Inpatient care. If a patient’s needs cannot be managed at home, general inpatient beds in local facilities and, in some cases, in proprietary VITAS inpatient hospice units, provide around-the-clock hospice care to manage uncontrolled symptoms until the patient can return home.
  • Respite care. Limited to up to five consecutive days and nights, respite care provides a brief “respite” for the patient’s primary caregiver by admitting the hospice patient to an inpatient setting without meeting the “inpatient” pain and symptom management criteria.

Specialized Care

At VITAS, we make every effort to provide the best possible care to our patients and families. For this reason, we offer specialized care services, including but not limited to:

  • Veterans care. Veterans have unique needs at the end of life, and VITAS staff members undergo training to understand and attend to those needs. Many of our programs are certified We Honor Veterans providers.
  • Music therapy. Music, in many forms, can address a patient’s emotional, cognitive and social needs.
  • Pet visits. Many of our hospice locations have pet volunteers whose screened, friendly pets visit with patients and provide comfort. Our inpatient hospice units also allow family pets to visit.

Call VITAS to learn more about hospice and palliative care options.


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