Description of LifeStages - A Division of VNA Home Health Hospice
VNA delivers Hospice Care with compassion
Our hospice program provides compassionate end of life care and support for individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness. In partnership with patients and their families, our team of caring professionals coordinates a continuum of care based on the unique needs and wishes of our clients.
Understanding Hospice Care
Hospice care provides treatment and care that focuses on comfort for people who are facing a terminal or life limiting illness. Our hospice team is comprised of nurses, social workers, home health aides, chaplains, trained volunteers, and bereavement counselors. Physical, occupational and speech therapists, as well as wound care specialists, are available as needed to facilitate comfort and symptom management.
These are some of the ways that Hospice can help:
- Managing physical symptoms
- Offering emotional support to individuals and their families
- Providing information about changes one might experience as the illness progresses
- Guiding families in giving care and support to their loved one
- Preventing hospitalizations with a hospice nurse available any time, day or night
- Making bereavement support available to families in a variety of ways
Who is eligible for hospice care?
Should an individual begin to experience a decline in regular self care capabilities or other life-limiting symptoms, their doctor may suggest they consider hospice care. Once the doctor determines that the path of curative treatments are no longer appropriate and estimates life expectancy to be six months or less based on the Medicare Hospice Criteria, referrals can be made for hospice services. While an individual must have a doctor's referral to receive hospice care, they, or a family member, can call a local hospice provider, like VNA Home Health Hospice, to initiate the process. People of any age, with any of the following illnesses, may be appropriate for a hospice referral if eligibility criteria are met.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Multiple Sclerosis
- Stroke or coma
- Parkinson's Disease
- Alzheimer's Disease or other forms of dementia
- Heart disease, such as Congestive heart failure or Coronary artery disease
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Lung disease, such as COPD or Pulmonary fibrosis
- General decline in condition due to age or multiple health conditions
This list does not cover every condition, if there are any questions regarding eligibility, contact VNA Home Health Hospice.
Deciding if hospice is the right path
For some, there may be a time when the burden of life-prolonging treatments and interventions outweighs the benefit. At those times, shifting the focus to comfort and symptom management can potentially improve quality of life for one's remaining time. Some may think that hospice is only for the last days of life but, in fact, people can benefit from hospice services while they are still quite active. The hospice team can provide clinical, social, and emotional support to help clients feel better able to make the most of each day. At VNA, our experienced team works closely with each individual and family to provide assistance and support throughout the process. A VNA Hospice team member is happy to visit individuals and their families to discuss services and answer questions with no obligation to initiate service.
Who provides hospice care?
At VNA, our hospice team is made up of an experienced and dedicated team of nurses, social workers, home health aides, spiritual care coordinator, bereavement support counselor, and trained volunteers.
Where does hospice provide care?
Through VNA, services may be provided where ever one calls home "“ a house, apartment, nursing home or assisted living facility. Should a person require more care than can be provided in their current setting, the hospice team is often able to assist families in identifying resources to coordinate increased care services. Our Hospice program is one among a continuum of care that VNA offers to clients in their own homes.
Can hospice care continue after 6 months?
Some people live longer than their original prognosis once their pain and symptoms are under control. The VNA Hospice team will continues to provide the same care as long as the qualifying criteria for hospice are met.
Does hospice "take over" care and decision making?
No. Individuals and their families remain in charge of coordinating care and making medical decisions. The role of the hospice team is one of support, guidance, education, and collaboration. Hospice team members will provide information and options and assist with coordinating a plan that centers on the unique goals and needs of each person we serve and their family.
How is hospice care paid for?
Medicare and Medicaid cover 100% hospice care. Most insurance plans have a hospice benefit included in their coverage. If you do not have insurance or are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, our staff may be able to provide assistance in identifying resources. VNA Home Health Hospice provides care regardless of a client's ability to pay. Accessing the Hospice benefit can save on some medical expenses as Durable Medical Equipment, such as wheelchairs, oxygen, or hospital beds, and medications related to comfort and symptom management are covered at 100%.
Why ask for VNA?
VNA Home Health Hospice provides a coordinated spectrum of services under one roof. Hospice nurses utilize pain and symptom management expertise with compassion and understanding to promote comfort and quality of life. Specially trained social workers, chaplains, and volunteers provide additional support in a variety of ways, from assisting to identify and access resources to spiritual support in what ever way an individual and family desire to friendly visits and errands. VNA also offers skilled nursing services, physical and occupational therapy, wound care specialists, and the Lifestages companion service "under one roof" so that any level of care needs can be accommodated and smoothly transitioned. Additionally, VNA's partnership with Mercy Hospital facilitates continuity in moving across the spectrum from acute to home care.