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Hospice Care Comes to You
VITAS® Healthcare cares for patients at home, wherever they call home.

By Evalisa McClure

When a patient with an advanced illness is ready to start the conversation about hospice, some concerns inevitably arise: Where will I receive care? Can I stay on my current medications? Will all of my needs be met?

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.

Aside from the simple comfort of familiar faces and surroundings, many patients already will have spent days or weeks in the hospital by the time they’re referred to hospice, and the experience can be tiring. Plus, hospitals are under increasing pressure to reduce both patient readmissions for the same symptoms and in-hospital deaths.

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 clinical care from a team of experts.

Expert Care for the Patient—and Their Family
After a patient has been admitted to VITAS, an interdisciplinary hospice team steps in—nurse, hospice aide, social worker, physician, chaplain, bereavement specialist and volunteers. The team provides clinical, spiritual and psychosocial care to the patient and their family wherever they call home.

The team will teach the designated family caregiver(s) how to manage symptoms and handle other routine tasks. 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 continues to provide 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.

Evalisa McClure is general manager of VITAS Healthcare in Pittsburgh. For more information about end-of-life care options, call VITAS Healthcare at (866) 759-6695 or visit VITAS.com.

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