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Home Health Care

Palliative Care Program

As part of South Shore Hospital’s continuum of home health services, we offer palliative care for those with serious or life-threatening illnesses. Regardless of the diagnosis, we focus on providing relief from the symptoms through early identification and assessment, followed by treatment of pain and other physical and psychosocial problems.

The Palliative Care Program is offered in collaboration between Hospice of the South Shore and South Shore Visiting Nurses Association (VNA)—ensuring our patients have access to optimal care at home.

Qualifications for Palliative Care

Palliative care patients are not required to have a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) in place, but should meet these four basic criteria to receive nursing services:

  • Requires skilled nursing care
  • Meets homebound status
  • Has an advanced or life-limiting illness
  • Demonstrates a decline over time with a likely prognosis of less than a year

Other indications may include:

  • Hospice-appropriate patients who may or may not be ready to accept hospice, or who may still be receiving active/aggressive treatment
  • Advanced dementia: inability and/or steady decline to complete most simple tasks or basic activities of daily living
  • Cancer: late stage with or without active treatment
  • Cardiac: Stage 3 patients with a marked limitation in activity—comfortable only at rest
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): severe, as evidenced by disabling dyspnea, hypoxemia or resting tachycardia
  • Renal failure (acute or chronic): decline with or without dialysis and serum creatinine of > 8 or creatinine clearance of < 15cc/min
  • Repeated or frequent hospitalizations
  • Unresolved pain, nausea or dyspnea
  • Progressive, unintentional weight loss
  • Multiple co-morbidities contributing to a steady decline
  • Progressive worsening symptoms and worsening clinical status
  • Requires considerable assistance and frequent medical care

Learn More About our Palliative Care Program at South Shore

For more information, or to place a referral for care, please call our Central Intake Office at (866) 674-2480.


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