AGAWAM — Heritage Hall West, a subacute and skilled nursing center in Agawam, recently introduced a palliative care program.
The center has partnered with the VNA and Hospice of Western New England to provide the Greater Spring-field area with quality end-of-life care through the specialized program.
The collaboration allows the resident to benefit from the expertise of both Hospice and Heritage Hall West, while the family or caretaker can be offered relief from the often overwhelming stress of caring for a terminally ill loved one. The comprehensive plan of care created for each individual addresses not only medical concerns but also offers psychosocial and spiritual support.
The medical care for the resident is directed by a geriatric physician specialist, the hospice consultant, and the center’s nursing staff. A social worker assists with psychosocial support and often assists families with many different issues.
As part of the Palliative Care Program, Heritage Hall West also participates in the Good Endings Program founded by Donalyn Gross, Ph.D. Gross, who consults for the center, has implemented the program by recruiting a group of volunteers who work in the center, called the ‘Vigil Team,’ which provides caring support to the dying resident to ensure that no patient dies alone.