Hospice - A Promise to Comfort

Hospice is about living every day of life fully, without pain or symptoms. The VitalCare Hospice model of care treats patients and family members with understanding that worries about the future have a genuine and legitimate impact on the frame of mind and personal comfort at end of life. Hospice patients can receive care at home or in one of two home - like facilities in Petoskey and Cheboygan. To learn more about locations and services click here or call (800) 342-7711
> Hospice of Little Traverse Bay, Petoskey
Hiland Cottage
> Hospice of the Straits, Cheboygan
Hospice House
> Hospice of the Sunrise Shore, Alpena

When Hospice is The Right Choice

> Hospice Care is available for individuals who are physician-referred and have a lifespan prognosis of six months or less.
> Primary Care person is available/willing to develop a plan with social worker for care needs
> Is not receiving curative therapy

VitalCare and VitalCare Hospice are nonprofit, Medicare-certified, Blue Cross-approved, and CHAP-accrediated (Community Health Accreditation Program) providers of home healthcare programs and services. VitalCare is affiliated with McLaren Northern Michigan.

Palliative Care

When a patient is facing a serious chronic illness, nothing is more important than comfort and pain relief. Palliative care focuses on quality of life for patients dealing with chronic, progressive, life-limiting illnesses such as cancer,congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, and amyotrophiclateral sclerosis (ALS).

When Palliative Care is The Right Choice

>Life threatening illness with expected prognosis of 18 months
> Homebound, requiring taxing effort to leave 
> Deteriorating medical condition and at risk for needing symptom management. Patient may have had 1-2 emergency department visits or hospital admissions in the last year
> Primary care person available to provide care, or to ensure that an appropriate caregiver is available to provide care when necessary
> Does not meet Hospice Admission criteria:
> Patient/family have difficulty accepting the life threatening diagnosis and prognosis
> Patient/family are not agreeable to stopping aggressive therapy
> Physician is uncertain in patients meets the hospice admission criteria

Compassion Fatigue

The stress of caregiving can often lead to feelings of guilt, which stops the caregiver from seeking help. When the time comes to care for a loved one, many are unaware of potential stress and fatigue. 
VitalCare professionals can assist caregivers in determining the best options for loved ones. Whether daily assistance or long-term care, there are several options depending on individual needs to provide relief for caregivers. Home  Health Care, Hospice, Adult Day Center, and Private Duty services can be recommended. 
For guidance, please call (800) 342-7711 and ask for the referral center.

Signs of Caregiver fatigue include:
> I just don’t feel like talking to or seeing anyone.
Withdrawal from family and friends could be a sign of high stress levels.
> I don’t enjoy my favorite hobbies or social activities.
This may mean that you need a break, even if for just a few hours a day or a week.
> I feel like I want to end it all.
Thoughts of suicide or hurting your loved one are a dangerous warning sign of extreme burnout. You should seek immediate medical help.
> I don’t eat well anymore.
Abnormal eating patterns, such as eating too much or not enough might be indications of stress.
> I don’t sleep well.
Inability to fall asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping more than normal are signs that the stress of being a caregiver is becoming more difficult.
> I can’t seem to shake this cold. Or I’m always sick.
Stress can seriously weaken the immune system. In order to be an effective caregiver you must first care for yourself.