Hospice Care

Hospice Care

We believe that hospice is not a place but a philosophy of care that focuses on caring and comfort. Hospice is the most appropriate medical treatment option when an individual has decided to discontinue medical treatment and focus on comfort and quality of life.  

Hospice encompasses the needs of the individual's family or caregivers so that together, they are able to fully enjoy meaningful time together. 

Providing care at the place the patient calls home is the basic philosophy of hospice, whether it is at home, in a family member's home, a nursing home, an assisted living, or a residential care facility.  

VNA of Care New England provides comprehensive, compassionate and individualized hospice services throughout Rhode Island to people of all ages.  

Contact Information

VNA of Care New England
51 Health Lane
Warwick, RI 02886
P: (401) 737-6050
F: (401) 737-3084
E: info@vnacarenewengland.org

M-F: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Weekdays and Holidays:
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Our Multidisciplinary Team of Experts

Hospice Care Program Manager
The hospice care program manager is an experienced hospice nurse who is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the program, including addressing any patient or family concerns. The hospice care program manager 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. 
Registered Nurses
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.  
Social Workers
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 (PERS), and ensuring the patient's end of life wishes are known and documented through tools such as advanced directives.  

Hospice care of VNA of Care New England partners with pharmacists from Care New England Specialty Pharmacy, a local pharmacy service for VNA hospice patients in the community. Care New England Specialty Pharmacy 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. Patients living in Long Term Care facilities will be serviced by Enclara Pharmacy.

Physician & Nurse Practioner

The Hospice Physician and Nurse Practitioner(s) are hospice and palliative certified specialists who order hospice care, assists with the management of symptoms, order medications, treat patients and guide the patient plan of care. Some patients choose to involve their Primary physician in care planning.  Nurse Practitioners also help the hospice physician recertify patients for hospice care after 6 months.

Home Health Aides

The compassionate group of home health aides provides personal care for the patient that may include: 

  • Bathing
  • 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.  

Spiritual Care Coordinators
Spiritual care is non-denominational support service provided by a chaplain as part of the comprehensive Hospice and Palliative Care programs at VNA of Care New England. Provided 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.

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.  

Grief and Bereavement Support

Because an individual’s needs change during the different phases of illness, our team works together to determine the best course of treatment each step of the way. During the time leading up to and following the loss of a loved one, additional support is often needed, so we continue hospice care as a support for the family members after the patient’s death. The VNA can also provide bereavement counseling.

Take the next step in feeling better

Care New England Specialty Pharmacy

Care New England Specialty Pharmacy 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.  

Explore The Care New England Speciality Pharmacy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hospice and how can it help people?
Hospice is not a place; it is a philosophy of care. Care is usually provided in a patient's home, but can be provided in any environment in which the patient resides, it might be a nursing home, assisted living or a hospice facility. Hospice is the most appropriate treatment option when an individual has made the decision to discontinue curative treatment and when expert symptom management that may include physical, emotional and spiritual support becomes the goal for someone with a life-limiting condition. Caring and comfort, not cure, are the focus of hospice.  
Who provides hospice care?
The patient's needs may change during the different phases of their illness. At certain times more nursing care may be needed, while, at other times, more social work or the expertise of an entire team is beneficial. Hospice care is provided by a team of experts that includes:
  • A physician.
  • Registered nurses.
  • Home health aides.
  • Social workers.
  • Spiritual Care Coordinator.
  • Trained volunteers.
  • Nurse practitioners. 
Who is eligible to receive hospice care?
Hospice care is available for patients who have elected to no longer seek curative treatment and have a prognosis of six months or less, as determined by their physician, if their disease takes its normal course.
Can I keep my own doctor?
Yes. The hospice team will work with your health care provider to ensure you receive the best possible care. If there comes a time when you or the patient needs a new doctor while receiving hospice care the hospice team can work with you to identify a new doctor you are comfortable with. The VNA of Care New England has three hospice physicians on staff who can also meet your needs if necessary.  
What if someone is not ready to go on hospice and wants to continue receiving curative treatment?
At VNA of Care New England, we customize our services to meet the needs of patients and their loved ones at different points during their illness. We understand and respect these decisions and therefore, offer what is called a Palliative Care Program for those individuals who require home health care services.  
Is hospice care only for patients with cancer?
No. Hospice care is actually an appropriate treatment option for many different life-limiting conditions that may include:
  • Cancer.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
  • Neurological disease.
  • Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS).
  • Parkinson's disease.
  • Renal disease.
  • Liver disease.
  • Chronic debilitating infections.
  • Multisystem failure.
How is hospice care paid for?
Medicare's Hospice Benefit covers hospice costs at 100 percent. Medicaid and most private insurers also cover hospice costs, including medications, medical supplies and equipment.  

Myths and Facts About Hospice

Hospice is where you go when there is "nothing else to be done."
Hospice is the "something more" that can be done for the patient and the family when the illness cannot be cured. It is a concept based on comfort-oriented care. Referral into hospice is a movement into another mode of therapy, which may be more appropriate for terminal care.
Hospice is a place
Hospice care usually takes place in the comfort of your home, but can be provided in any environment in which you live, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential care facilities.
Hospice is only for cancer patients
Fact: A large number of hospice patients have congestive heart failure, dementia, chronic lung disease, or other conditions.
Only senior citizens can receive hospice care

Hospice cares for patients of all ages - from infants and children to young adults to senior citizens.

Learn more about Hospice FAQs