Our Hospice program offers clients with the highest quality of life possible when they have a life-limiting illness.
We offer a comprehensive and coordinated approach to care by utilizing the expertise and services of our Medical Director, Hospice Chaplain, Social Services, Nursing Care, Volunteer services, the client’s own physician and paraprofessional services to provide our patients with the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychosocial support they need to focus on living fully and comfortably.
What is Hospice?
Hospice helps terminally ill people, together with their physician, family, friends and clergy, face the end of life together and enhance quality of life, even as death nears. Above all, we respect the right of terminally ill people to choose how and where they live and die.
Who is eligible for Hospice services?
Anyone is eligible for Hospice care if they have a life threatening/life limiting illness when the client, family, caregiver and physician agree to this level of care. Hospice care can be provided in a client’s own home, a family member’s home, a paid caregiver’s home or a nursing home. People of all ages and circumstances are referred to CHHC’s Hospice Program by physicians, caregivers, nursing home staff, or by patients themselves. Hospice is offered to anyone whose life expectancy is limited and for whom cure is not anticipated or sought. It is understood that:
- Hospice care is focused on symptom relief and comfort care, not cure.
- The patient, primary caregiver(s), and physician agree to the support of Hospice.
What does Hospice provide?
The needs of terminally ill people and their caregivers can be diverse, and may seem overwhelming. Hospice helps make those needs more manageable by providing:
- Expert and compassionate clinical care.
- Personal care and comfort measures like music therapy, pet therapy, homemade goodies by Sweet Relief, etc.
- State-of-the-art pain and symptom management.
- Rest and relief for family members via respite care.
- Spiritual and emotional support for patients and caregivers.
- Personal services such as housekeeping, running errands, child care, meal preparation, reading aloud, writing letters, etc.
- Bereavement services to help survivors cope with loss including Bereavement support groups.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients. Unlike hospice care, palliative medicine is appropriate for patients in all disease stages, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses and those living with chronic diseases, as well as patients who are nearing the end of life.
Palliative medicine utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, relying on input from physicians, pharmacists, nurses, chaplains, social workers, psychologists, and other allied health professionals in formulating a plan of care to relieve suffering in all areas of a patient’s life. This multidisciplinary approach allows the palliative care team to address physical, emotional, spiritual, and social concerns that arise with advanced illness.
Who Is Eligible for Palliative Care?
People of all ages and circumstances are referred to CHHC’s Palliative Care Program by physicians. Again, palliative medicine is appropriate for patients in all disease stages, including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses and those living with chronic diseases, as well as patients who are nearing the end of life.
Our Hospice Medical Director, Dr. Mary Ready, is Board certified in Hospice and Palliative medicine. Mary received her undergraduate degree in English from Yale University, her medical degree from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, and served her Residency with Maine Dartmouth Family Practice (affiliated with Dartmouth Medical School). Mary is Board Certified in Family Practice, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Mary lives in St. Johnsbury with her husband and is actively involved with community organizations like Catamount Arts. She is the proud mother to three kids, an avid hiker and gardener, loves to read, and is happy to be part of the CHHC team.
For more information on CHHC Hospice and Palliative Care services, please contact:
Vermont also has several End of Life and Palliative Care resources (Please note, the links below will direct you away from this website to external websites which are not part of NCHC’s control):
- Start the Conversation is Vermont’s End of Life and Palliative Care resource center.
- The Vermont Department of Health is the lead agency for the Patient Choice and Control at End of Life (Act 39) legislation.
- The Vermont Ethics Network is a useful resource for understanding the Physician Aid in Dying legislation which passed in May 2013.