Kate Lally, MD, FACP, serves as the Hospice Care of VNA of Care New England Medical Director. Dr. Lally specializes in palliative care and is affiliated with Kent Hospital. Her role as medical director is to work with the patient's primary care physician or if requested, become the primary physician during hospice care. She works closely with the entire hospice team to ensure end of life comfort and symptom management and advises and educates on best practices in hospice and palliative care.
Hospice Care Program Manager
The hospice care program manager is an experienced hospice nurse. She is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the program, including addressing any patient or family concerns. She regularly communicates with all team members and directs bi-weekly case conference meetings, where the team comes together to discuss how to best meet the needs of current patients, their families and caregivers.
The experienced and specially trained registered nurses in the Hospice Care Program focus specifically on end of life care by providing expert pain management and symptom control combined with compassionate listening and counseling skills. The nurses communicate with the physician as needed and coordinate appropriate changes in services, medication or equipment.
Home Health Aides
The compassionate group of home health aides provides personal care for the patient that may include:
- Toileting or incontinent care.
- Nail care.
- Transferring from bed to chair or chair to bed.
- Assistance with walking.
- Range of motion exercises.
- Changing of bed sheets.
- Light housekeeping.
The home health aide may also help to educate the family and other caregivers on patient care so that they can feel comfortable providing this care between visits.
The hospice social workers have specialized training in end of life care and are concerned with helping to enhance the quality of life and promoting well-being for patients, their families and caregivers. They may help with a variety of things including assistance with insurance, Medicare and Medicaid paperwork, coordination with other support services such as Meals-on-Wheels or personal emergency response systems such as Lifeline®, and ensuring the patient's end of life wishes are known and documented through tools such as advanced directives.
Spiritual care is non-denominational support service provided by a chaplain. Designed to meet the spiritual needs of hospice patients and their families, the goal is to help increase spiritual well-being and comfort while remaining sensitive to the individual's spiritual orientation. Spiritual care may also serve as a liaison between the patient's religious preference and the clergy and/or other spiritual resources. The chaplain is also available for grief counseling and coordinates all bereavement and support activities.
Hospice Care of VNA of Care New England partners with pharmacists from Hospice Pharmacia, a leader in pharmacy service for hospice patients. Hospice Pharmacia is available around the clock to answer medication questions and provide consultation for our nurses and physician. Medications are generally delivered the next day to patient's homes.
Specially trained hospice volunteers provide companionship and support to patients and their families. They can:
- Stay with the patient while the family runs errands.
- Lend a helping hand.
- Read a book out loud.
- Sit quietly and provide companionship.
They also lend support to families after the loss of a loved one and help to coordinate all bereavement activities.