Does Hospice Work?
For These Patients and Families, the Answer is Yes
The goal of hospice is to improve the quality of life for seriously ill patients who have a prognosis of six months or less—and for the people who love them. Does hospice work? For the more than 80,600 patients served by VITAS in 2015, and their families, the answer is a resounding yes.
“Through your support, each of you have helped my sisters and I care for mom in my home. Each of you are very special and have given your heart and soul to the people you care for in a very profound way.” –Jo Ann
Hospice is patient-centered care. It focuses on what the patient wants and needs to remain comfortable and in control. Hospice services include dispensing medications, managing symptoms, offering personal care, delivering medical equipment and supplies and providing emotional and spiritual support to the patient and the family. Patients remain at home, where they are most comfortable,, surrounded by the people and things they love most.
The Greatest Gift
“You allowed me to be a daughter and not a nurse. You allowed me time to grieve, cry, hold him and love him. You gave me the greatest gift a person could ask for.” –Randy, RN
Hospice relieves the family caregiver from assuming all the burden of care, giving them the chance to spend quality time with the patient. The patient’s wishes and desires are at the forefront. The hospice physician carefully listens and, together, they develop the patient’s goals of care. The hospice nurse makes sure these goals are implemented through a plan of care.
“I could always count on all of you to give the best care to my aunt and to patiently and quickly answer my endless questions.” –Claudia
Every patient receives customized care and frequent visits from the members of an interdisciplinary team of hospice experts. They introduce gradual, non-crisis transitions—from hospital to home, curative to palliative, chronic to end-stage—always available to talk, try treatments, ensure comfort and dignity. VITAS provides Telecare®, a 24-hour hotline to respond to patient and family questions and dispatch a team member to the patient’s bedside if necessary. Each patient’s hospice team includes:
- Hospice aide
- Social worker
- Bereavement specialist
Bring Hospice Home
“Extra accolades are reserved for Diana, the caregiver who spent so much time with my mother. She truly is gifted and has found the right occupation!” –Linda
VITAS brings hospice care to the patient’s home, wherever they call home—a private residence, long-term-care community or nursing home. Four levels of care are provided, ready to address whatever situation may arise. These levels of care include:
- Routine care in the home
- Shifts of acute symptom management in the home when medically necessary—VITAS calls this Intensive Comfort Care®
- Round-the-clock temporary inpatient care when symptoms cannot be managed at home
- Respite inpatient care when the family caregiver needs to be away
“The service you provided is what we all would want at the end of our lives.” –Gloria & Michael