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Deaconess VNA Plus: Hospice Care

Hospice provides specialized care for people facing a terminal illness and their families, focused on meeting physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs. Hospice is a philosophy of care that emphasizes pain management, symptom control , and the importance of living each day to the fullest in ways that are personal and meaningful; and receiving support and guidance in learning to accept death as a natural part of life.
 
Hospice Care is provided in portions of the Deaconess VNA Plus service area in homes and long-term care facilities. Deaconess VNA Plus also provides inpatient care at the John and Betty Charlier Hospice Center and other facilities including Deaconess Hospital The Hospice team includes a medical director, registered nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists, a dietitian, certified home health aides, medical social workers and spiritual care coordinators to provide support and professional guidance in coping with serious illness, separation and death. A registered nurse is on-call 24 hours a day for questions or concerns. Trained Hospice volunteers also play an important role, visiting with patients, providing respite for the family, assisting with errands and other activities, sharing special talents and performing clerical duties.
 
Medicare, Medicaid and most commercial insurance provide a hospice benefit for eligible patients  that covers the cost of medications, medical equipment and services provided by the hospice team. Deaconess VNA Plus staff assists families in evaluating insurance benefits prior to starting hospice services. As a not-for-profit, United Way agency, we also offer additional options for financial assistance for those in need. Specifically, Medicare covers these Deaconess VNA Plus hospice services:

  • Physician-directed medical care
  • Skilled nursing care
  • Short-term respite for caregiver relief
  • Equipment and medical supplies related to the terminal disease
  • Medications related to the terminal disease
  • Home care aides for personal care
  • Spiritual counseling
  • Social services and counseling
  • Volunteer support
  • Short-term inpatient care for symptom management not well-controlled in the home
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Bereavement support
 
Eligibility
To be eligible for Medicare-covered hospice care, the patient must be entitled to Medicare Part A and sign an election statement provided by Deaconess VNA Plus indicating that he or she:

  • understands the nature of the illness;
  • is no longer seeking curative treatment; and
  • understands that regular Medicare benefits will be replaced with the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
The patient’s primary physician must also certify eligibility for hospice care; this individual also approves the plan of care and works closely with the hospice team during the benefit period. The hospice medical director is also available as a consultant to the primary physician.

Inpatient Hospice Care includes additional eligibility requirements; please call 812-425-3561 or toll free, 800-326-4862 for more information.   


Bereavement Services
The Deaconess VNA Plus Bereavement Program provides counseling and support to family members and loved ones who must go on with their lives after a loss. Bereavement is defined as the period of time during which people emotionally experience, respond and adjust to the death of a loved one. Just as each person is a unique individual, each individual may experience grief in different ways...and therefore, need various types of support during this time. Our services are provided for one full year following the death and consist of mailings, a memorial service and support groups. The confidential monthly support group meetings (including a special group for men) give family members an opportunity to gain understanding of the grief process and their own grief reaction, discover ways of coping with loss, explore social opportunities and support systems with others experiencing loss and learn about additional resources.

For more information or to make a referral, please call 812-425-3561 or toll free, 800-326-4862. You may also wish to view Frequently Asked Hospice Questions for more information.