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Hospice

Community Care Hospice provides care for individuals and families facing a life limiting illness.  The primary goal of care is to support and educate the patient and family through the final stages of a disease, addressing physical, emotional and spiritual issues in an effort to promote comfort and peace at the end of life.  Rather than care directed at curing disease, care is now directed toward relieving symptoms, maintaining or supporting function and promoting quality of life.   

Hospice care utilizes a team approach.  The team consists of the patient’s primary care physician, the Hospice medical director, nurses, a social worker, chaplain, aides and volunteers.  Care is directed toward relief of pain and suffering, strengthening healthy coping and supporting patients and their caregivers.  This focus enables the patient to remain in an environment where he or she is supported by family and friends.  The caregivers in turn receive the help and support they need to help their loved one.  Hospice care may be provided in the patient’s place of residence, whether it be their home, a nursing home, assisted living or other facility.   

It’s About Dignity, Comfort and Peace 

The hospice team possesses knowledge and experience in pain control and management of physical, emotional and spiritual needs unique to end of life care.  They preserve dignity and promote comfort and peace – for the patient and for the entire family as well.  “Being there,” providing a listening ear, validating feelings, encouraging self expression and gently guiding the family through the final days, hours and moments, is what Hospice care is all about. 

The staff of Community Care Hospice is experienced, compassionate and deeply dedicated to providing the very best care to individuals and families facing the end of life.   

Ongoing Support 

Community Care Hospice understands that coping with end of life issues is something that is not quickly resolved.  We provide bereavement support both to our Hospice families and to members of the community.  The family is supported for 13 months after the death of the patient through visits, telephone contact, mailings and an annual remembrance service.   

Community support is provided through workshops, educational programs, lectures, support groups and other special events.  Our adult bereavement support group, Journey Toward a New Day, ran from March 10 through April 14, at the VNA office at 110 West End Avenue in Somerville, from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Registration for these programs is required.  Please call Melissa von der Heide at 908-725-9355 ext. 2230 to register.

Our annual "Light Up a Life" celebration is held every December at Community VNA's offices in Somerville.  The event honors lost loved ones and helps support the Community Care Hospice.  This year's event took place on Tuesday, December 6, despite inclement weather.  If you missed it in person, please review our video of this special ceremony.

Community Care Hospice is seeking volunteers to help patients and families while they are coping with a life-limiting illness.  Volunteers provide an invaluable gift of time and presence to the patient and/or family members.  Besides listening and talking, volunteers may also perform light household tasks, run errands, and give respite to the caregivers and family members.  Volunteers may visit patients in a home setting, assisted living facility or nursing home.  Volunteers are needed weekdays, weekends, day and evening hours.  The volunteers generally set their schedule after visiting with the family or caregiver.  These volunteers give approximately 1-3 hours of their time per week to each family.  All volunteers must complete seven weeks of training, two hours per week.  Topics included in the training are end-of-life care, grief and bereavement and the philosophy of hospice.  Volunteer training takes place once a week at the Community VNA office in Somerville.  The next training session will be held for six weeks, beginning April 21.  The official application process begins in March with a personal interview, which is scheduled with the Volunteer Coordinator.  For more information, please contact Melissa von der Heide, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator, at 908.725.9355, ext. 2230.  A limited number of applicants can be accepted for training.

Community Visiting Nurse Association and its affiliates, Community VNS, Community Home Care and Community Care Hospice, are non-profit home health and hospice providers serving Somerset and Middlesex counties since 1948.  They are licensed by the State of New Jersey, certified by Medicare and Medicaid and accredited by Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP).  Community VNA provides home health care, hospice care and community care services. For more information or to request services, visit the Community VNA website at www.communityvna.org or call (908) 725-9355. 

Additional Information

To learn more about the comfort that hospice care provides for the patient and the family, you can read an article in the June 20, 2010 issue of Parade Magazine.  In addition, Community Care Hospice is a member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, which offers a series of informative videos about Hospice care.  By viewing these videos, you will better understand the services Hospice can provide for you and your family, when you should consider Hospice care, how to choose the right provider in your area and other related topics.   Community Care Hospice would be happy to answer any questions you may have after watching these videos, which are available at the links below. 

Understanding Hospice Care

What Is Hospice Care?

Types of Hospice Care

When to Begin Hospice Care

Choosing a Hospice Program

Paying for Hospice Care