Hospice Aides and Nursing Assistants: On the Front Lines of Healthcare

When a patient with an advanced illness is ready to start the conversation about hospice, one concern inevitably arises: Where will I receive care?

VITAS® Healthcare has over 40 years of experience providing hospice care that focuses on improving quality of life, and we’ve found that most patients fare best where they’re already most at ease: in their home.

Choosing Home over Hospital

Studies show that more than 70% of people would prefer to die at home, so it’s easy to see why that’s where most hospice happens. Home offers the simple comfort of familiar faces and surroundings, and a reprieve from the hospital or emergency department.

Receiving hospice care at home doesn’t mean “giving up” or compromising on quality of care. As part of the Medicare Part A hospice benefit, VITAS patients are entitled to whatever their terminal diagnosis requires. This includes medications, home medical equipment, supplies, supportive services and care from a team of experts.

The interdisciplinary hospice team—nurse, hospice aide, social worker, physician, chaplain, bereavement specialist and volunteers—provides clinical, spiritual and psychosocial care to the patient and their family wherever they call home.

Expert Care for the Patient—and Their Family

The team will teach the designated family caregiver(s) skills for day-to-day care. Individual members of the team will coordinate and schedule regular visits. Ultimately, the patient and family are the core of the team, and their input is factored into an evolving care plan.

Our team supports the patient’s family during the most difficult moments of their loved one’s last days of life. After a patient dies, VITAS offers bereavement support to the family for a minimum of 13 months.

For patients with advanced illness, hospice helps make the best of those final months, weeks and days. VITAS patients enjoy being home among loved ones, free of medical expenses, and in the care of a team dedicated to their comfort and dignity.

By Cathy Carlson, general manager for VITAS® Healthcare in Chicago

For more information about end-of-life care options, call VITAS Healthcare at 866.759.6695 or visit VITAS.com.