Hospice Services,Palliative Care Services

Hospice & Palliative Care

Hospice and palliative care services are available to patients of all ages through ECHN and Visiting Nurse and Health Services of Connecticut (VNHSC).

Overview of Hospice Care

Hospice affirms life and views dying as a natural part of life's continuum. Hospice neither shortens nor prolongs life beyond a person's own natural processes. The purpose of hospice is to provide care and support to people in the final stages of a life-threatening disease.
Hospice is a concept of care, not a specific place. It is a special way of caring for patients, usually in their own homes, in their final months. Hospice is concerned about enhancing the quality of a person’s life. It is a program that emphasizes the dignity of the individual and the strength of the family.
Hospice personnel help patients find a sense of peace and dignity and reaffirm the right of every person and family to participate fully in this stage of life. Hospice cares for the whole person by focusing on physical comforts and emotional and spiritual support.

Where is Hospice Care Provided?

Although most hospice care is provided in the home, care is also provided in skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. If more intense care is needed, inpatient level of hospice care can be provided at both Manchester Memorial Hospital and Rockville General Hospital.
Both hospitals offer special hospice rooms for patients and their families. These homelike rooms are away from the hospitals' busy areas and are intended for end-of-life care, pain management and respite care for families. All of the hospitals' services, including chaplain services and grief counselors, are available.
For information on hospice rooms at Manchester Memorial Hospital, please call 860.647.4758. For information on hospice rooms at Rockville General Hospital, please call 860.872.0501, ext. 5344.

The VNHSC Hospice Team

A team of professionals and volunteers are engaged to help you and your family achieve comfort, and find personal dignity at the end of life. The team includes:
  • Your physician to oversee medical care
  • Hospice medical director for consultation
  • Hospice-trained nurses to evaluate and manage any pain or symptoms
  • Home health aides to assist with personal care
  • Physical, speech or occupational therapists
  • Medical social worker for counseling
  • Dietician for expertise on nutrition
  • Trained volunteers to provide companionship and respite care
  • Spiritual care coordinator
  • Bereavement coordinator
Complementary services include:
  • Art, music, and relaxation therapy
  • Reiki treatments
  • Pet therapy
  • Living Reflections (photography)
  • Aromatherapy 

Overview of Palliative Care

Palliative care provides symptom management and pain control for those clients experiencing both physical and emotional suffering related to a disease process which may or may not be life threatening.
Palliative Care is appropriate for anyone, at any point of a serious illness and is best suited for those who wish to remain out of the hospital. It can be provided at the same time as treatment that is meant to prolong life and can be used as a transition to Hospice Care.

Who is Eligible for Palliative Care?

You may be eligible for palliative care if you are meeting traditional home care requirements with a chronic debilitating illness often with a 12- to 18-month prognosis such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dementia, congestive heart failure (CHF) or end-stage neurological disorders.

Palliative Services at ECHN

An interdisciplinary team approach is provided to patients and their families by social workers, home hospice aides, therapists, chaplains, transitional coaches and volunteers trained in pain/symptom management and supportive care. We offer a strong clinical collaboration which the patient’s primary care provider is essential in his or her care.


Hospice and palliative care services may be covered by private insurance or prepaid health plans. Medicare/Medicaid has a special hospice benefit for patients, the Medicare/Medicaid certified hospice program. Should funds become exhausted, a patient care fund has been established to cover the cost of services provided to hospice patients and families.