VNSHS Hospice House

Hospice recognizes the dignity, comfort and choices of every patient. 

Our goal is to work in partnership with each patient, their doctor and their families to create an individualized plan to meet all of their physical, psychosocial, emotional and spiritual needs.

A private room and bathroom

will afford the patient with the ability to keep personal belongings close and give the family the opportunity to have uninterrupted visiting.

Visiting hours are unlimited and unrestricted by age.

With advanced permission, family pets may also visit.  If you’ve been sick, remember it’s safer for all patients if you telephone or email your loved one instead of visiting in person.

Families are Welcome

While professional staff is available to provide direct care, families are welcome and encouraged to participate in the care of their loved ones.

Comfortable Sleeper Chair

A comfortable sleeper chair is available for overnight visitors as well as a television, refrigerator, telephone and internet cable access in each room.

Washer and Dryer

A washer and dryer are provided on-site so the patient’s family can launder personal belongings.

Hospice House Kitchen

is available to all patients and their families to eat a meal together or prepare a light snack.

Spend Time Together

Patients and visitors can spend time together in the Hospice House living room, sunroom, meditation room, and outside in the serene memorial garden.

Social Worker Available

A social worker is available to provide support and counseling or just a quiet listening ear.  The social worker will hold a family conference within 24-48 hours of the patient’s admission to the Hospice House.

Instant Alerts

A unique, wireless pendant system enables the patient to instantly alert the nurse on duty that assistance is needed.

Nursing Staff

The nursing staff at the Hospice House has years of experience in pain and symptom management.  The goal of the entire staff is to maintain the patient’s comfort and enhance quality of life.

Insuring Comfort

The advance directive of a DNR allows us to provide all necessary palliative measures to insure the patient’s comfort while allowing a peaceful, natural death.

Bereavement Support

Individualized bereavement support is available to loved ones, offering comfort and counseling for up to 13 months.

Smoke-free Environment

The Hospice House is a smoke-free environment

The Hospice House cannot be responsible for valuables such as jewelry or cash.  These items should be left at home.


Hospice Questions Answered

What is Hospice?

Hospice includes medical care with an emphasis on pain management and symptom relief. Hospice teams of professionals and volunteers also address the emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the patient and the whole family. Overseeing all patient care is the hospice medical director who may also serve as the attending physician. Alternatively, the patient’s own physician may continue in this role, in coordination with the hospice team and its plan of care. To learn about hospice, it is useful to start with debunking the common myths that in themselves create barriers to hospice. (See Below)

When to choose Hospice?

While many referrals are made by a physician, anyone can refer a patient to hospice--friend, family member, or clergy. Hospice will contact the physician to see if the patient is appropriate for hospice care. Hospice will then consult the patient and family to see if hospice services are desired. Timely referrals are important. Hospice staff can be more helpful when they have time to build a trusting relationship with patients and their loved ones before the situation becomes critical.

It is time when…..

  • curative treatment is no longer an option.
  • the emphasis changes to comfort, symptom control, and enhancing the quality of life.
  • the patient knows they have a limited life expectancy.
  • a physician thinks hospice can help.
  • If hospice comes into a patient's life when it is time, the patient can live their remaining days at home with their loved ones in familiar surroundings.


Hospice Care Services

The interdisciplinary team of health professionals and volunteers will design a plan of care that may include the following:

  • Skilled Nursing Visits by a Registered Nurse
  • Home Health Aides
  • Specially Trained Volunteers
  • Medical Social Work
  • Pastoral Care
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Medical Equipment and Supplies
  • Medication for Pain and Symptom Control
  • 24-Hour Access to Care
  • Short-term Hospital Care
  • Respite Care
  • Bereavement Counseling
All care is provided under the direction of the patient’s primary physician. Our Hospice Medical Director is available for consultation with the primary physician as needed.

Medicare Hospice Benefit

Hospice is a special way of caring for a person whose disease cannot be cured. It is available as a benefit under Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) to beneficiaries with a very limited life expectancy. Since 1983, the Medicare Hospice Benefit has enabled millions of terminally ill Americans and their families to receive quality end-of-life care that provides comfort, dignity, and compassion.

With hospice care a person receives non-curative medical and support services for his or her terminal illness. Home care is provided along with necessary inpatient care and a variety of services not otherwise covered by Medicare.

The focus is on care, not cure; on helping the person to make the most of each day of remaining life by providing comfort and relief from pain. Hospice emphasizes quality of life. If you receive Medicare benefits, or if you are enrolled in a Medicare managed care (HMO) plan, you are entitled to Hospice care.

Who Is Eligible?

Medicare coverage for hospice care is available only if:

  • The patient’s physician and the hospice Medical Director certify that a patient is terminally ill, with a life expectancy of six months or less
  • The patient chooses to receive care from a hospice instead of standard Medicare benefits
  • Care is provided by a hospice program certified by Medicare

The Medicare Hospice Benefit Covers…

When all requirements are met, the Medicare Hospice Benefit covers:

  • Nursing services
  • Physician services related to the terminal illness from your primary physician
  • Medical social services
  • Counseling services, including Spiritual counseling provided by clergy Bereavement counseling for the family for up to one year after the death of the patient
  • Dietary counseling, if required
  • Other counseling, if required, by qualified professionals
  • Home health aide and homemaker services
  • Medical supplies, including Drugs for symptom control and pain relief Durable medical equipment (i.e., hospital beds) Medical supplies (i.e., bandages and catheters)
  • Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, when necessary
  • Laboratory testing and other diagnostic studies related to the care of the terminal illness
  • Short-term inpatient care, including respite care
  • It is important to note that a patient retains full Medicare coverage for any health care needs not related to the terminal diagnosis.


What Are You Responsible For?

Medicare pays the hospice directly at a specified rate. The patient would only be asked to pay:

  • 5% of the cost of outpatient drugs, or $5 for each prescription, whichever is less
  • 5% of the Medicare rate for respite care

What is Not Covered?

The care that you get for your terminal illness must be from your hospice. When you choose hospice care, Medicare will not pay for:

  • Treatment to cure your terminal disease
  • Care from another hospice that was not arranged by your hospice
  • Care from another provider that is the same care you must get from your hospice
  • A hospice patient has the right to change hospice providers at any point, as long as the newly-chosen hospice program is Medicare approved