Southcoast VNA Article: Don’t Wait to Talk About End-of-Life Care

It’s an all too common situation. A family is at the bedside of a loved one who is seriously ill and nearing the end of life. Each member of the family has a different idea of what should be done and what the patient would have wanted.

Far too many people wait until they are in the midst of a health care crisis before thinking about what options are available or what care they or their loved ones would have wanted.

Often, by waiting too long to learn about possible options, such as   VNA’s Supportive Care Services, people end up spending difficult days in the hospital or the emergency room and opportunities to be at home with loved ones are lost.

When a family is coping with a serious or life-limiting illness, supportive care focuses on improving quality of life for patients and their families by reducing the physical and emotional burdens of the illness. It can be provided at any time during an illness and is available for patients actively seeking treatment or not. A patient does not have to be in hospice to receive supportive care.

Supportive care services include expert medical care, symptom management, counseling and assistance with advance care planning, all provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals and trained volunteers. The wishes of the patient are always at the center of care.

Supportive care is provided in the home – where the majority of Americans have said they want to be at this time. Care can also be provided in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or wherever the patient calls home.

Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans provide coverage for these services. Southcoast VNA Supportive Care Services can provide information about care options and choices to allow you to live as fully as possible.  Family and loved ones are included in care planning and receive support as well.

Sadly, many patients wait too long to receive this special care, missing out on valuable quality time with their loved ones.

One of the best ways to ensure you and your loved ones benefit fully from supportive care services when needed is to have the “conversation” in advance. To learn more about Southcoast VNA’s Supportive Care Services or to get assistance with starting the conversation, visit or call 800-698-6877.