The patient may sign if they are able. If the patient is not able, the 'next of kin' or the person with healthcare power of attorney will sign. As part of the hospice agreement, a "Do-Not-Rescetitate" (DNR) agreement is signed. The DNR may be rescinded if hospice care is stopped.
Yes, a patient can stop hospice care at any time, for any reason. We can transfer the patient to a different hospice, or release them. If the patient/family changes their mind later we can take the patient back into our care.
We make every effort to provide continuity as we understand the nurse develops a special relationship with the patient and family. We sometimes need to schedule a different nurse to cover vacations or unplanned visits.
Generally the answer is yes. VNA Hospice staff will work with the patient's doctor to review all medications. Hospice patients continue to use medications that help keep symptoms under control. Medications that treat the disease, such as chemotherapy, are stopped when hospice care begins.
Morphine is an appropriate medication for treating pain and shortness of breath. Our staff works with the family to monitor how a patient tolerates any medication, and we will make adjustments accordingly.
Yes, we want to treat any secondary infections and make the patient as comfortable as possible. VNA Hospice is a Medicare-certified hospice, meaning our staff can manage medications under the direction of the patient's doctor.
VNA Hospice has staff on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call VNA at (630) 978-2532 and leave a message with our on-call service. The nurse on-call will be contacted and will call you back promptly.
No, the entire family can benefit from hospice care. VNA Hospice has a full service team to visit and help family members with the many issues they will be dealing with during the course of the patient's illness.
Yes, if the patient has an acute need they should go to the hospital. For example, if the patient is injured from a fall or is bleeding, call 911. If the patient is experiencing uncomfortable symptoms related to their illness, call VNA first. We will determine if a visit is needed or can provide some instruction over the phone on how to help manage the symptoms.
There are times when it may be appropriate to set up continuous care. If the patient is taking the recommended medication and their symptoms are not controlled, we will arrange for 'round the clock care until the symptoms are managed.
VNA Hospice provides medications for easing the symptoms of the terminal illness and even delivers the medicines to the patient's home. All other medications (such as blood pressure meds, etc) continue to be paid for by the patient or their current insurance coverage.
The hospice nurse visits typically last about one hour, or until the patient's symptoms are under control. We can make referrals for homemaker services or custodial care. These services are typically not covered by insurance.