What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is care that focuses on providing advanced pain and symptom management for patients with chronic, progressive illness, regardless of their prognosis. Under palliative care patients receive aggressive care for their symptoms, and can continue to receive aggressive treatment for their chronic illness as well.

An Extra Layer of Support

Using our years of experience and advanced training, we are able to assess patient needs and implement the best options to maximize patient well-being while respecting patient wishes to continue to remain as independent and comfortable as possible. Community VNA’s Palliative Care service provides an extra layer of support for patients and their families at any point during a serious illness, which can be offered along with curative treatments.

Palliative Care Coordinator

Our Palliative Care Coordinator assists in facilitation of advance care planning, symptom management, and completion of advance directives. Additionally, our coordinator helps clarify current treatment options and expectations and establishes patient and family centered goals of care.

Hospice and Palliative Care Services

Medical Care
We are focused on achieving and maintaining patient comfort and providing supportive help for family members. Patients are welcome to retain their own primary care physicians. Our Medical Director, who is Board Certified in the specialty of Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine, will work closely with the primary care physicians to ensure each patient achieves the maximum level of symptom and pain control to allow them to remain comfortable. Our experienced registered nurses have advanced training in end of life care so they can provide skilled, compassionate care and support to patients and families. Our certified nursing aides provide help with personal care and any assistance patients may need to be comfortable.
Bridge to Hospice Care
With our expertise in this area and years of experience, we can help assist each patient and their family as they prepare to transition from hospital care or traditional home health care to Hospice and Palliative Care. Our Bridge to Hospice services may be helpful for a brief or for a long period and can help ensure caregiving during the transition remains as smooth and seamless as possible.
Pain and Symptom Control
Using our years of experience and advanced training, we are able to assess patient needs and implement the best options to maximize patient wellbeing while respecting patient wishes to continue to remain as alert as comfortably possible. We draw on the services of a specialized hospice pharmacy to provide our patients with the best, most precise medications as part of their care. This ensures we are using the most efficient and effective methods for medication management and delivery that are customized to each patient’s needs and wishes.
Medical Equipment and Supplies
Those items that assist in providing quality home care and which will promote the greatest comfort at home or in other hospice settings will be used to help us achieve the ultimate in comfort and safety for each individual under our care.
Social Services
Non-medical needs such as planning for the future or addressing any emotional difficulties that are affecting the patient and his or her loved ones are part of the concerns focused on by the Hospice and Palliative Care social worker. Our licensed social workers provide support and counseling to the patient and family as they attempt to deal with health changes and the future. Support may include helping to identify available community resources and providing advice concerning financial questions that occur with a prolonged illness and death. In addition, the social worker acts as a patient and family advocate in a variety of other ways, such as with assistance in planning funeral arrangements.
Bereavement Services
We understand that everyone responds differently to illness and loss. Our hospice social worker specializes in helping individuals and families deal with these complex issues. Community VNA Hospice and Palliative Care offers on-going bereavement support to loved ones for at least a year following a death. This includes grief support and grief education groups for adults and special bereavement programs for children.
Spiritual Services
The Spiritual Care coordinator is available to patients and families with help in coping with spiritual questions and concerns at the end of life. He or she is able to assist directly, or if requested, will help coordinate service by the patient’s own spiritual advisor. We understand that each person’s needs and beliefs are different and all wishes will be honored and respected by the Hospice and Palliative Care team.