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What Assisted Living Facilities Need to Know

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  1. We have nurses and aides taking care of our residents; how would hospice offer anything different?
  2. How can VITAS help curb unwanted trips to the ED and hospital admissions (and readmissions)?
  3. As the owner of a small assisted living community, how would hospice care impact my small facility?  What services would hospice be able to offer my resident to keep them here in the community?
  4. Our staff is always looking for new ideas, and they require professional education credits. Can VITAS help?
  5. When we see a resident failing, we want to discuss options with their family. How do we begin? What do we say that won’t upset or anger the family?
  6. Sickness and death are hard on our staff. We get to know and love our residents. How can hospice help?
  7. How does VITAS’ clinical expertise keep residents at home?
  8. We work hard to differentiate our ALF. How can VITAS help us maintain our competitive advantage?
  9. What is VITAS' approach to pain management?
  10. Will my community lose revenue if a resident elects hospice care?

We have nurses and aides taking care of our residents; how would hospice offer anything different?

Hospice cannot replace the care provided by an aide (or, in a home setting, the family). For any assisted living provider, hospice augments what the staff provides a seriously ill resident. From regular visits by an RN to a volunteer with time to do whatever the resident chooses, to chats with a chaplain, hospice creates and carries out a unique plan of care to improve that resident’s life.

How can VITAS help curb unwanted trips to the ED and hospital admissions (and readmissions)?

With hospice services, your resident doesn’t leave home. They continue to age in place—no emergency trips to the hospital. Hospice can provide shifts of continuous care at the bedside when symptoms require them. The goal is to keep the patient comfortably at home, in their assisted living community, surrounded by the faces and routines they know.

As the owner of a small assisted living community, how would hospice care impact my small facility?  What services would hospice be able to offer my resident to keep them here in the community?

By partnering with a hospice that is able to keep patients in their homes, you are adding to the services you offer to your residents at the end of life, and improving the skills and the knowledge of your staff in general. VITAS does not want to see residents removed from the place they call home. We educate caregivers just how to care for a terminally ill patient. They may bring other education and activity resources to your facility. They improve resident and family satisfaction scores. And they inform staff and owners so that survey results often improve due to your knowledgeable hospice partner.

Our staff is always looking for new ideas, and they require professional education credits. Can VITAS help?

VITAS provides a wide array of educational formats, from ice cream socials for residents to nearly seventy continuing education presentations for customized for assisted living nurses and social workers. VITAS provides these credits at no cost. Hospice representatives understand the needs of patients and their families coping with EOL concerns, whether social or clinical. Ask a VITAS representative about presentations that entertain and educate.

When we see a resident failing, we want to discuss options with their family. How do we begin? What do we say that won’t upset or anger the family?

As your partner in care, your hospice can provide conversation starters that families can share with other members. There are aids to help professionals handle the “it’s-time-for-hospice” conversation. Start by downloading the family discussion guide at HospiceCanHelp.com.

Sickness and death are hard on our staff. We get to know and love our residents. How can hospice help?

Just as, through grief and bereavement support, hospice continues caring for loved ones for 13 months after the death of the patient, hospice recognizes the strain a death has on the community in which the patient lived. Memorial services and lessons in “taking care of me” can help residents and staff mourn and recover from a patient’s death.

FAQ 6

How does VITAS’ clinical expertise keep residents at home?

VITAS offers unsurpassed service across all four levels of hospice care: routine home care, intensive comfort care® (continuous care), inpatient care, & respite care.

How can VITAS help us maintain our competitive advantage?

VITAS is proud to offer a wide array of specialized care programs and benefits:

  • Veterans program
  • Alzheimer’s/dementia programs
  • COPD program
  • Multilingual staff
  • Jewish accreditation
  • Paw Pals® pet therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • “Living memorials” to honor a resident’s life
  • Anticipatory grief support during the illness
  • Bereavement support groups for families
  • Memory Bears

Check with your VITAS representative to see what programs are available in your area.

What is VITAS' approach to pain management?

At VITAS, managing patients’ pain is the utmost objective. As a palliative care pioneer, our organization has developed effective pain management protocols that are customized for the individual resident—which is critical in an assisted living setting. In addition to addressing physical and medical issues, our interdisciplinary approach addresses spiritual and emotional needs as well.

Will my community lose revenue if a resident elects hospice care?

Your assisted living community is home to your residents, and where they want to be. Like our assisted living partners, VITAS supports an aging in place approach to care. We have the expertise, the staff and the specialized services to keep your residents at home—out of emergency rooms, hospitals and nursing homes—as they approach the end of life. Your resident will continue to pay their normal fees to the community.