Where and How To Get Hospice Care
Hospice care is a family-centered team approach that includes, a doctor, nurse, social worker, counselor, chaplain, home health aide and trained volunteers. They work together focusing on the dying person’s needs—physical, psychological, social and spiritual. The goal is to help keep the person as pain and symptom-free as possible while offering spiritual and supportive counseling to the patient and family members.
Anyone can inquire about hospice services. In Vermont, Hospice is provided by certified Medicare Hospice Agencies. You or your loved one can contact your local hospice and request services. The hospice staff will then contact your physician to determine if a referral to hospice is appropriate. Another way to inquire about hospice is to talk with your physician, and he or she can make a referral to hospice.
Hospice can begin as soon as a ‘referral’ is made by the person’s doctor. The hospice staff will then contact the person referred to set up an initial meeting to review the services the hospice will offer and sign the necessary consent forms for care to begin. Usually, care is ready to begin within a day or two of a referral. However, in urgent situations, service may begin sooner.
Hospice services are available in every region in Vermont through local Visiting Nurse Associations and Home Health and Hospice Agencies.