A Conversation About End-of-Life Care: What You Need to Know When Selecting Hospice Services


When Vicky S. was exploring end-of-life services for her husband, she wanted someone who would provide high-quality and compassionate care while respecting his wishes and hers. Her husband lived a beautiful, meaningful life, and Vicky wanted his final days to reflect a life well lived.

Understanding a patient’s wishes and values, and using that information as an individualized map to plan their care, are at the heart of patient-centered, end-of-life care. It’s essential for patients and families to have options and the ability to select a caregiving team that will define a good death and identify what’s most important to you and your family.

Research finds that a patient-centered approach to end-of-life care improves quality of life and even has the potential to prolong it.

Fortunately, you now have choices and opportunities to find personalized care at the end-of-life in Okeechobee County.

In 2019, VITAS® Healthcare opened offices in Port St. Lucie and Stuart, creating another hospice option to serve patients coping with serious illness throughout Okeechobee County and the Treasure Coast.

“My husband was under continuous care for 12 days, and every single person that came to care for him was extremely competent and compassionate. The nurses are all truly angels. The end of my husband’s life would have been so much harder without them. Thank you all so much

for your love, compassion and commitment. You are truly providing a great service to this community.” —Vicky S., Treasure Coast

The VITAS Advantage

VITAS cares for a variety of patients – including those requiring high-acuity care or complex modalities that other hospices cannot or do not offer – at home, wherever the patient calls home.

While VITAS is a new provider to Lake Okeechobee and surrounding communities, the company was founded in Florida in 1978 and was one of the nation’s first hospice programs.

For families like Vicky, a key factor in choosing VITAS is access to an interdisciplinary hospice team, including a nurse, aide, social worker, physician, chaplain and volunteers. Vicky also embraced VITAS’ ability to pair physical care with emotional and spiritual support, including:

• Lavender Touch: Gentle hand massage administered by trained volunteers for comfort and support

• Paw Pals®: Loving animals and their volunteer owners who visit patients to provide comfort

• Life Bio: A written, audio or video biography of a hospice patient, provided by specially trained volunteers

• VITAS’ award-winning veterans program

VITAS is always available to help patients and families discuss their goals of care and end-of-life wishes and preferences, crucial components in ensuring you receive compassionate care on your terms at the end of life.

VITAS is honored to be a new partner in Okeechobee County and promises to be a committed healthcare provider to all community members.  They will be presenting the Okeechobee Senior Expo with Lake Okeechobee News on Friday, January 21, 2020. The event is free to the public and will be held at the KOA Convention Center, 4276 US Hwy 441.  Hours are 10am-3:00 p.m.