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Deaconess VNA Hospice Care

Hospice Care

Hospice provides compassionate, 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, preserving a person's dignity, peace-of-mind, quality of life, 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 allows patients with terminal illness the freedom to choose where and how they wish to live. Hospice patients may reside in their own home, nursing home, an assisted living facility, or an inpatient center. Deaconess VNA provides inpatient care at the John and Betty Charlier Hospice Center, the Linda E. White Hospice House, and other facilities such as Deaconess Hospital. The Hospice team includes a medical director, registered nurses, a dietitian, certified home health aides, medical social workers, volunteers, 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 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 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 or facility setting

  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy

  • Pet therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Bereavement support


Every patient receives a personalized assessment to determine if hospice is appropriate as well as the following criteria for hospice eligibility:

  • A physician's order stating the patient has a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 6 months or less, if the disease runs its normal course

  • A qualifying diagnosis

  • Is no longer seeking active curative treatment

Bereavement Services

The Deaconess VNA 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.