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| Saturday, 20 Jul 2019
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‘I Don’t Worry about Death; That’s Far, Far Away’

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If you’re like most people, planning for end-of-life care is very low on your list of priorities. We all like to imagine death as a distant and obscure event.

The reality is that one out of two people in the US was touched by the death of someone they know in 2016. That’s why we need to be familiar with the resources available to those coping with the end of life—before we find ourselves dealing with a loved one’s health crisis.

VITAS Healthcare has been a resource for families in South Florida since 1978, ensuring that terminally ill patients and their families have access to compassionate and high-quality end-of-life care.

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There is no charge for hospice

Hospice services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other private insurance plans, and provided by a skilled team of hospice experts, which includes a physician, nurse, hospice aide, social worker, chaplain, bereavement specialist and volunteer. Each patient’s care is customized to meet their unique needs.


Despite what many think, hospice is not a place. It is a philosophy of care that focuses on enhancing comfort and quality of life during the last six months of life. By treating physical symptoms, providing pain management and addressing emotional and spiritual concerns, hospice can ease the dying process and makes this time meaningful and memorable for patients and their loved ones.


VITAS likes to say, “We bring hospice home.” That means VITAS helps patients remain where they want to be—in their home, a family member’s home, their assisted living community or nursing home—where they are familiar with their surroundings, their routine and the faces they see every day.


Keeping patients home

VITAS services are brought to the patient’s home. Medications, supplies and equipment related to their terminal diagnosis are provided and delivered at no cost. VITAS ensures that patients can stay home by offering:

  • Telecare®, which responds to patient and family questions 24/7/365 and can dispatch a hospice team member to the bedside if necessary
  • Intensive Comfort Care®,which puts a nurse or hospice aide at the bedside for up to 24 hours a day when medically necessary. VITAS patients don’t face 9-1-1 calls and re-hospitalizations
  • Inpatient hospice care when a patient’s medical needs cannot be managed at home

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VITAS Cares For and About South Florida

As part of our commitment to the South Florida community:

  • VITAS support groups are open to anyone grieving a loss and are facilitated by VITAS’ highly trained bereavement specialists.
  • We cater to South Florida’s diverse population; our hospice teams customize their care for patients from Hispanic, Haitian, Jewish, LGBTQ, military, Jewish, African American and other unique populations.
  • Our community liaisons educate all of South Florida on how to make decisions about what they would want at the end of their lives and document it in an advance directive.
  • In Palm Beach County,the VITAS Community Life & Inpatient Center at Delray Beach functions as a community gathering space as well as a home-like environment for hospice patients whose symptoms cannot be managed at home.


Do it for your family

No one wants to plan for the end of life. But there are resources to help you understand your options and make decisions easier. A little research now will mean so much to your loved ones in the future.


Start by going to HospiceCanHelp.com. For information about VITAS, please visit VITAS.com or call 800.723.3233.

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