Skip to main content

Compassion. Care. Comfort.


Hospice Care

 
Coping with the pressures of a serious illness can be difficult for both the patient and their loved ones. With VNA Care you don’t have to go through it alone. Every member of the VNA Hospice & Palliative Care team is here to listen, answer your questions, and help.
 

Approach to care

Hospice is a specialized, team-based approach to caring for people with a life-limiting illness, their family, and caregivers. Hospice focuses on quality of life so that life can be lived as fully as possible, preserving dignity and respecting personal choice. The hospice staff work as a team with the person, family, and caregivers to maximize physical comfort, provide emotional support, and assist in the pursuit of goals for this time. We work to fulfill the words of Cicely Saunders, the founder of modern hospice care:
 
"You matter because you are you, and you matter to the end of your life. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die." 
 

When should hospice be considered?

We recognize that it can be difficult to consider hospice for yourself or a loved one. Contacting our hospice team does not mean giving up. Rather, by starting a conversation about your care options as early as possible, you are providing yourself with more time to focus on what is important to you. Experience has shown that connecting with a hospice team as early as possible in the later stages of illness can improve the quality of life and help people accomplish their goals for this time. 
 
Hospice care may be appropriate when:
  • Your symptoms are becoming harder to manage
  • You are spending more time in the hospital, with less time between hospitalizations
  • Your main priority is comfort and relief from pain or other symptoms
  • You are thinking about ending curative treatments
  • You are diagnosed with a condition such as heart failure, COPD, end-stage renal disease, dementia, cancer, or stroke and your illness is at a life-limiting stage.

 

Where is hospice provided?

Care can be provided wherever you live. Many patients receive hospice care in their homes, whether that's a private home or apartment, or in a nursing home, group home, or assisted living facility. Hospice care may also be provided in a short-term, residential inpatient setting, such as in one of our three hospice residences.
 

Click on each photo for more details! 

Elizabeth Evarts de Rham

Cambridge, MA
 

Rose Monahan

Worcester, MA
 

Stanley R. Tippett

Needham, MA
Tippett Home
 

What should I expect?

Hospice care is provided by a specialized team of professionals who develop a personalized, comprehensive care plan tailored to the physical, emotional, social, practical, and spiritual needs of each patient. The hospice teams consist of:

  • physicians and nurse practitioners 
  • skilled nurses
  • social workers
  • chaplains
  • bereavement counselors
  • music therapists
  • massage therapists
  • trained volunteers
  • hospice aides
  • physical, occupational, and speech therapists are available as needed

When receiving hospice services, all appropriate medications and medical equipment related to your terminal illness are provided at no cost. Your hospice care team will assess your needs and explain the options available so that you and your loved ones can make the best choices for your care. The hospice team will work with you and your doctors to ensure you receive services to manage your illness and its symptoms. The team will also work with your family and caregivers to help them feel confident as they see to your needs and to understand your condition as it changes.

 

Who qualifies for hospice care?

Eligibility for hospice is established on a case-by-case basis. We can help you evaluate whether hospice might be an option, answer your questions, and work with your doctor as needed. The hospice team is always available for phone and in-person consultation about eligibility and hospice services. 
 
If your condition improves and you no longer need hospice, we will work with you and your family to transfer you to a more appropriate program. If necessary, you can resume hospice care at a later date.
Share this page