Frequently asked questions
How do I make arrangements to have a nurse come to my home?
All requests for services are processed in the Intake Department. The Intake Department can be reached at 800-333-4799 or 978-552-4444, or you can send a referral via fax using our Express Referral Form.
Are all VNA’s the same?
No. There are many different hospice and visiting nurse agencies. Home Health VNA is one of the largest and most respected not-for-profit agencies in the region. We offer full continuum of care for patients of all ages and every stage of illness or injury.
Who pays for the visiting nurse to come to my home?
The cost of care provided by Home Health VNA is typically covered by health insurance – including most private insurances, Medicare and Medicaid, and Senior HMO’s. Patients receiving home care services must meet certain requirements including:
- Services must be ordered by the patient’s physician
- The patient must be “homebound” or unable to leave home without great effort
- The patient’s condition requires skilled care by a nurse or therapist
For more information, or to determine if you or a family member qualifies for visiting nurse services, contact the Referral Department at 800-333-4799 or 978-552-4444.
What cities and towns do you cover?
Home Health VNA provides care in more than 110 cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley, Northeastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Click here for a list of cities and towns
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for patients with an advanced illness. It focuses on providing patients with relief from both physical and emotional symptoms to improve their quality of life. Palliative care can help patients of all ages, at any stage of an illness and can be provided with curative treatment including chemotherapy and radiation. Palliative care is especially beneficial to patients with advanced cancer, cardiac disease, pulmonary disease end stage kidney and liver disease, dementia and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
What is hospice care?
Hospice is a type of compassionate care for patients whose illness is no longer responding to treatment and who have no hope for a cure. Hospice care is designed to improve the quality of the patient’s life by providing comfort care and personalized service including:
- Expert medical care
- Comprehensive pain management
- Emotional and spiritual support
Additionally, support is provided to the patient’s family throughout the illness and for at least one year beyond.
At the center of hospice is the belief that each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our families will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. The focus is on caring, not curing.
While on hospice care can I still use my regular doctor?
Yes. We encourage you to continue using your primary physician. The care team of Merrimack Valley Hospice will communicate with your physician while you are receiving services.
My mother is in a nursing home. Can she still receive hospice care?
Yes. Merrimack Valley Hospice is committed to caring for patients nearing end-of-life whatever setting is currently called “home.” Private homes, nursing homes, assisted livings, or hospitals are all sites where hospice care can be provided.
Can a hospice patient who shows signs of getting better be returned to active treatment?
Yes. If the patient’s condition improves and the patient seems to be recuperating, patients can be discharged from hospice and return to aggressive therapy or even normal living. If the patient needs hospice care at a later date, the patient could be re-admitted to hospice.
Does hospice do anything to make death come sooner?
No. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying.
A member of my family recently passed away. Where can I find a support group to help me with my grief?
Merrimack Valley Hospice provides a variety of support groups for people grieving the loss of a loved one. For a complete list of support groups available in your area or call 800-475-8335. Click here and be redirected to the Bereavement Support page where you can download a flyer of upcoming support groups.
What cities and towns do you cover?
Merrimack Valley Hospice provides care in more than 110 cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley, Northeastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and the seacoast of southern Maine. Click here for a full list of the cities and towns of our service area.
Do you only provide services in private homes?
We will provide care wherever “home” is… whether it be an assisted living facility or a cruise ship during a family vacation…
How do you decide what services are needed?
All clients receive a comprehensive in-home assessment from a licensed nursing professional who will suggest services necessary for their safety and well-being. This allows the client and family to make an informed decision about the services needed. Once the assessment is completed, we develop a care plan that fits each client’s situation. We review the care plan on a regular basis to make sure that the services provided are appropriate and effective.
Why should I use Private Care Services instead of hiring someone myself?
There are a number of reasons why you should choose Private Care Services. First, all our employees are screened, have a comprehensive background check and are fully trained. Second, we provide professional liability insurance and worker’s compensation. Third, we supervise our employees to ensure the highest level of professional conduct. Finally, clients can be assured that they will receive the services they need when they need them.
How much does it cost to have private care services at my home?
The amount of service you need is completely up to you. The cost will depend on the number and frequency of the specific services needed. Information on the cost of different services is available upon request.
Application for financial assistance (English)
Solicitud para ayuda financiera (en Español)
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) information
Caring for Your Heart: Living Well with Heart Failure
Know Your Choices Guide for Patients with Serious Advancing illness
Organizations providing information, referral and non-clinical services
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley: www.esmv.org
North Shore Elder Services: www.nselder.org
Senior Care Inc: www.seniorcareinc.org
Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs: www.mass.gov/elders/
New Hampshire Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services: www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/beas/
Massachusetts Department of Public Health: www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services: www.dhhs.nh.gov/