VITAS Healthcare: Here For You When Life Matters Most
By Kathleen Kashow, VITAS Healthcare // March 14, 2021
VITAS support groups provide information, guidance to those experiencing grief and loss
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – One of the biggest challenges for families caring for loved ones near the end of life is when and how to make the decision to change from active and aggressive treatment to care that focuses on comfort and quality of life.
Referred to as hospice or palliative care, this medical specialty focuses on the relief of pain and other symptoms of an advanced or critical illness.
The difference between the two is that palliative care can begin while treatment of a disease is still taking place.
Hospice care begins when treatment has stopped, either because they are no longer effective or because the patient has decided to focus on comfort in the time that remains. In both cases, the care plan shifts to improve the quality of life.
When selecting a hospice provider, patients and their families have a choice. What makes VITAS unique in Brevard County is that we are the nation’s leading provider and have been a pioneer in hospice care since our founding in 1978.
All VITAS patients receive care from an interdisciplinary care team that includes a physician, nurse, aide, social worker, volunteer, chaplain, and bereavement specialist.
For most people, the most comfortable place to be as they near end of life is home, surrounded by loved ones. Whether that’s a nursing home, assisted living community, or private residence, VITAS brings our care to you.
When a patient’s severe symptoms can no longer be managed at home, we provide 24/7 compassionate care at the VITAS Inpatient Hospice Center at Rockledge. If the patient improves enough to go back home and still needs hospice care, our team resumes care at the home or preferred setting.
Additionally, VITAS provides hospice care tailored to meet the specific needs and unique symptoms of each patient.
Our care does not start and stop with the patient. Because many families or caregivers are experiencing the death of a loved one for the first time, VITAS also supports the family in numerous ways—including bereavement support for at least 13 months following a death, as well as ongoing phone-in and video support groups.
Being a caregiver can be a new and challenging experience. Our programs include emotional support and education about caregiving basics, such as how to balance your life and caregiving role, how to manage common symptoms, or how to provide care at home.
Someone always answers our 24/7 care line—including after hours, weekends, and holidays. We are here to help you be the best caregiver you can be while still preserving your own life and health.
Are you or a family member facing the challenges of an advanced illness? Are you struggling to care for yourself or an ailing loved one?
If your situation is getting overwhelming, or if you are questioning whether it is the right time to consider hospice care, call VITAS anytime to schedule a free hospice evaluation by a trained clinician.
Kathleen Kashow is the general manager for VITAS in Brevard County, Florida. For more information about end-of-life care options, call VITAS Healthcare at 321-339-2893 or visit VITAS.com
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