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Focus Stories

VITAS Suites

by NA

Featured Photo from VITAS Suites

The majority of hospice care is provided by family members and caregivers with support from a dedicated hospice team that makes home visits, but patients sometimes require end-of-life care that cannot be provided feasibly at home.

VITAS Healthcare’s new private suites offer appropriate, high-acuity care by hospice professionals in a homelike setting.

The nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, VITAS now offers 10 VITAS Suites at Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital in Longwood. The suites are designed specifically for patients experiencing pain or uncontrolled symptoms that can no longer be managed at home. The suites serve patients throughout Central Florida.

Much of the stress of the hospice experience – for patients and family alike – can be alleviated when care is provided in a private, comfortable, acute-care setting. Each VITAS Suite is a large, private room with a homelike décor. Visitors have access to a large family room with comfortable furniture, microwave, coffee machine, and snacks, with the hospital cafeteria nearby.

Care provided by the VITAS interdisciplinary team includes a VITAS medical director who makes daily rounds, a hospice nurse, a hospice aide, a full-time chaplain for spiritual support, and a full-time social worker for psychosocial support and help with other issues, including finances. As they manage uncontrolled symptoms and relieve pain, team members also take time to talk to patients and families – and to listen – assisted by specially trained VITAS volunteers. Supportive ancillary services are available when appropriate, including licensed massage therapy, licensed music therapy, a child life specialist, and lavender touch. 

Common end-of-life symptoms that might trigger a transfer to a VITAS Suite include severe nausea/vomiting, breathing difficulties, severe pressure ulcers or lesions, uncontrolled behavioral issues or agitation, sudden decline requiring intensive nursing care, uncontrolled pain, and other complex challenges.

The goal of care is to bring health crises under control so that patients can return home to familiar surroundings.

Access to the VITAS Suites is convenient at West State Road 434 off of Interstate 4, and hospital parking is plentiful and easy. Family members and visitors can visit 24/7, the nursing station is always open, and doctors and nurses are approachable for any questions or concerns that arise. 

In a homelike setting, VITAS hospice patients can enjoy improved quality of life, a greater sense of dignity, and hopes for a smooth transition back home.

For information about the VITAS Suites or end-of-life care options, call VITAS Healthcare at 866-759-6695 or visit VITAS.com.

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