Palliative Care & Hospice

VNA of Middlesex East, 2012 Annual ReportMiddlesex-East VNA Nurse Hospice offers different levels of care to meet the complex needs of patients and families coping with a life threatening illness. The agency is unique among providers in that palliative care and hospice programs are both coordinated by our hospice team. This assures patients receive care from clinicians with extensive experience managing symptoms and pain and that their caregiving team remains the same if they transition to a different level of care.

Palliative Care

Symptom Management Program and Pre Hospice Bridge Program

Symptom management is designed for patients who may be receiving active treatment for their disease and need assistance managing pain, nausea, fatigue, and cardiac/respiratory symptoms. Our clinicians teach patients how to manage these symptoms, helping them remain comfortable in the home and reducing unnecessary rehospitalizations. Patients who benefit from this type of care include those with cancer diagnosis undergoing curative treatment that causes significant discomfort and pain and patients with end stage chronic diseases that have a high rate of rehospitalizations due to recurring symptoms.

Pre-Hospice Bridge Program provides patients with a gentle transition to Hospice with no change in their caregiving team, or if their condition improves, a transition to our community nursing program. The service is most appropriate when decisions are not always clear-cut and patients may decide they are not quite ready for hospice. Patients who benefit from this type of care may be receiving active treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, blood transfusion or antibiotic therapy.

Hospice Care

Hospice is for those with terminal illness that no longer responds to curative treatment and the focus is on providing comfort care and support. It usually begins when life expectancy is six months or less but every patient’s course of illness is different. This type of care can be provided in the home or at our Sawtelle Family Hospice House.

Learn more about our Hospice House »

Hospice nurses help patients manage pain, nausea, fatigue and cardiac/respiratory symptoms. They also provide education and emotional support to the patient and family surrounding issues of grief and loss. Home health aides support our clinicians by providing routine care and help patients with bathing and dressing, and transfers in and out of bed or a wheelchair.

Other members of the hospice team include rehabilitation therapists, dietitians, a medical social worker, an expressive therapist for children, and interfaith chaplain. Reiki can be provided by professionals who volunteer their time and skill to hospice patients.

All our hospice care is focused on improving the quality of remaining life, and promoting an atmosphere of grace and dignity during this significant time.

Bereavement Care

Support through the grieving process is also an important component of hospice care. After the death of a loved one, we stay in contact with the family for 13 months and offer adult bereavement support groups and a children’s bereavement program.

Learn more about our bereavement programs »