Benefits of Hospice
What is hospice?
Virginia Health Services is proud to have Virginia Health Hospice (VHH) as part of our continuum of care, our system of services that blend seamlessly from one stage of need to another. The VHH team specializes in customizing a hospice plan for each patient to manage their symptoms and pain, so that the time remaining to them is peaceful and comfortable.
If your loved one has received a life-limiting prognosis, their doctor may suggest hospice care—specialized, holistic, compassionate care focused on the individual needs of the patient. A family may often be upset to get this recommendation because it may feel like they are “giving up” on their loved one. But what it really means is a need to shift perspective: to move on from curing their loved one’s illness to providing them with comfort and quality of life.Virginia Health Hospice is a great option for patients with life-limiting conditions who do not wish to receive lengthy treatments while in a hospital, or do not wish to receive further treatment for the serious illness at all. Hospice care provides a way to relieve your loved one’s pain, in the comfort of the place they call home.
While you’re considering hospice care for your loved one, understand that you may be your loved one’s best advocate to obtain this type of care, as hospice is often under-recommended and underused by those facing end of life. Hospice care can improve your loved one’s quality of life and help assist you with their care.
Who qualifies for hospice?
Two physicians must certify that the patient has a prognosis of six months or less to live, to qualify for hospice care. Hospice care may last more than six months, depending on the progression of the illness.
Who pays for hospice?
Medicaid, Medicare, and most commercial insurers cover hospice care.
VHH offers training to meet the needs of you, your family, and your loved one.
As your loved one declines, they will have ever-changing needs. The hospice team will help you monitor these changes and guide and train you along the way. For example, if your loved one lives at home with you and needs assistance with toileting, a hospice nurse or aide will teach you proper lifting and moving techniques to minimize physical stress on you and your loved one.
The hospice team will visit your loved one anywhere they call home.
No matter where your loved one lives, whether it be alone, with a family member, or in any type of senior living community, the hospice team will provide treatment there, relieving everyone of the stress to schedule and leave home to receive treatment.
The VHH team will collaborate with other healthcare professionals to customize and coordinate treatment and care.
Your loved one can continue with a doctor that they have grown to love, since their doctor will be a part of the team. And if your loved one is connected with other agencies, such as home care or a senior living community, hospice will work with existing care providers to create a customized and comprehensive plan of care that addresses your loved one’s needs.
Medications related to the life-limiting illness will be covered.
Depending on your loved one’s diagnosis, they may already be on several medications. Hospice care will pay for these, review them to see if they are all still needed at this stage in the illness, and provide any additional pain medication and symptom management.
Medical equipment will be provided and covered if it is related to your loved one’s terminal illness.
As your loved one’s needs change, they may need medical equipment to maintain independence and mobility. As the caregiver, you also may need equipment to help care for your loved one. Hospice will deliver and cover the medical equipment related to your loved one’s illness.
Your loved one will have access to a comprehensive team that addresses his or her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
The hospice team understands the mental, emotional, and spiritual impact that facing the end of life has on a patient, their family and loved ones. Each hospice team will include a specially trained nurse, nursing assistant, social worker, and spiritual care specialist to address everyone’s needs.
Hospice will provide bereavement follow-up for your family and support team.
A bereavement counselor will help you and your family if you want additional support, including one-on-one meetings, support groups, and periodic follow-up calls.