Letter to Editor - VNA hospice program
To the Editor:
It was enlightening to see an article about hospice in your wonderful publication. This letter is to broaden the readership's understanding of the hospice process.
The well-respected Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) has an innovative program called "special care" which cares for individuals who qualify for hospice but aren't yet ready to take that step. The special care nurse offers information which helps the family weigh the pros and cons of treatment, to help the family make an informed choice. Taking the step into special care allows the family time to adjust while the patient still receives ongoing treatment.
Individuals of any age group who suffer from end-stage heart, lung or kidney disease, cancer or Alzheimer's are appropriate for this unique program. These individuals are cared for by VNA professionals in the home, assisted living or nursing home. If the family choses hospice, there is continuity of nursing care.
I've observed families paralyzed with guilt when they know life-prolonging treatments are no longer appropriate. I applaud VNA for making this program accessible to families who are struggling to make a compassionate choice. For more info, call 216-931-1400.
Laurel Hopwood, registered nurse