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VITAS Empowers Seniors to Take Charge of their Cardiac Care
By Evalisa McClure, VITAS Healthcare General Manager

When seniors are aware of their healthcare options, they have greater control over the decisions and actions they make regarding their health, including decisions affecting the care of the heart. As a leading pioneer in the national hospice movement since 1978, VITAS Healthcare recognizes the importance of empowering seniors and the community alike to take charge of their cardiac care and healthcare wishes before a crisis arises.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and with more than 40 million people age 65 and older, cardiac care should be a top priority. As the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, VITAS is committed to encouraging seniors to be proactive about their healthcare decisions, especially their cardiac care. When a patient with advanced heart disease has reached the point where the caregiver can no longer meet his or her loved one’s needs and a referral to hospice occurs, hospice professionals work diligently to make sure the family members have all the information and support they need.

Hospice—an end-of-life care option that focuses on the patient, not the disease—aims to make life as comfortable, enjoyable and meaningful as possible. The care is provided by highly skilled teams of hospice professionals and administered wherever the patient calls home, such as private residences, nursing homes, assisted living communities, and even hospitals. This allows the patient to stay in a familiar setting surrounded by family and loved ones.

VITAS provides state-of-the-art cardiac care for normal and low ejection heart failure patients including those needing inotropic and circulatory support. The company has invested substantial resources to develop a cardiac program where staff are trained on heart failure-specific education and are fully prepared to handle even the most complex heart failure situations. As part of its innovative model, patients benefit at home from evidence-based cardiac care including therapies traditionally administered in the hospital setting.

The VITAS team in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh take great pride in providing excellent care to terminally ill patients, including seniors and those with advanced heart disease. Patients and families receive VITAS’ trademark end-of-life care with individualized care plans that address patients’ physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs.

For more information about VITAS Healthcare, visit www.VITAS.com or call 412-799-2101.

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