Palliative Care at Home

Palliative care can provide relief for patients who are suffering from serious, long-term illnesses. MedStar VNA’s home healthcare team helps these patients treat difficult and ongoing symptoms through holistic, specialized care plans to improve their quality of life.

Palliative Care from MedStar VNA

  • Establishes a patient-centered plan of care
  • Manages complex medical conditions
  • Provides a holistic, team approach to healthcare
  • Collaborates with an interdisciplinary team
  • Coordinates care and case management
  • Advocates for the patient and caregiver
  • Assesses and evaluates patient abilities
  • Provides patient and caregiver education
  • Sets goals for maximum independence

Palliative Care Team Members

  • Patient and family
  • Physician
  • Pharmacist
  • Registered nurse
  • Social worker
  • Physical and occupational therapists, and home health aides (as needed)

For patients who need additional care from external resources, MedStar VNA’s home healthcare team will also work in junction with nutritionists, dieticians, and spiritual advisors.

Palliative Care Telehealth

MedStar VNA uses remote patient monitoring to routinely check in on palliative care patients between in-person visits. If negative symptoms arise, our care team is alerted immediately through our telehealth software so we can quickly intervene and prevent emergency medical situations. Patients can also access education related to their condition(s) through the monitoring device and communicate directly with their care team.

Qualifications for Palliative Care

  • Patient has a primary caregiver
  • Primary caregiver takes responsibility for the patient’s 24-hour-care needs
  • Patient and caregiver accept palliative care emphasis in the home
  • Patient does not currently meet hospice criteria

Palliative care is not hospice care. Patients can receive palliative care at any stage of illness and can continue aggressive and/or curative treatment plans.

How to Begin Palliative Care

Patients seeking palliative care through MedStar VNA must obtain a physician’s order for care along with supporting documentation. For additional information, please contact us at 800-862-2166.

Contact Us

To find out more about our home healthcare services, call: 800-862-2166.

Philanthropy

Share Your Story

Explore stories of gratitude from across MedStar Health and then share your story.

Express Your Gratitude

Share your patient care experience or honor a Visiting Nurse Association caregiver.

Partner with Us

Learn the various ways you can partner with MedStar Visiting Nurse Association.

 

Gratitude Matters

At MedStar Visiting Nurse Association, we understand that gratitude is an important part of the patient experience. Studies show that expressing gratitude can lead to better mental health, improved healing, more restful sleep and overall positive emotions.

Our philanthropy team works with those who wish to express their gratitude. We are honored to partner with you to help find the best way to express your gratitude—whether that be through honoring a caregiver, sharing your story or making a philanthropic investment. MedStar Health is a mission-driven, non-profit organization committed to advancing health. Join with us to make a difference!

A Nurse’s Diligence Saves a Life

Az Jones, grateful patient of Jennifer Ihle, RN, expresses his gratitude for Jennifer’s strong clinical knowledge and diligence when an infection almost took his life.  Read more stories >

Questions? Contact us at [email protected] or call 410-772-6930.

Why Work for MedStar VNA

Whether you desire a career with flexible hours or an opportunity to grow professionally, prospective employees can benefit greatly by working at MedStar Visiting Nurse Association. As a member of MedStar Health, you can make a positive impact. To learn more about working at MedStar VNA, view the infographic below.

Interested in a homecare career?

Visit our job search website, and scroll down the page to view a list of open positions.

Specialized Services

The nurses, therapists, social workers, and homecare aides at MedStar Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) specialize in caring for patients with a variety of medical conditions. Home healthcare team members work with each patient and the patient's doctor to develop a personal treatment plan that meets their unique needs. MedStar VNA helps patients to regain their independence at home by teaching them how to control their disease symptoms, take medicines as ordered, build their strength, and prevent further illness or injury.

Specialized care includes:

  • Burn Care: Patients suffering from mild to severe burns can benefit from home healthcare services like nursing, physical and occupational therapy, pain management, wound care, and support for activities of daily living.
  • Cancer Care Services: MedStar VNA nurses and therapists offer specialized care to meet cancer patients’ needs, including: wound, ostomy and continence care, medication management, IV therapy, strength training, and fall prevention.
  • Continence Care: Patients living with incontinence can receive specialized homecare treatment to include: Moisture management, toileting programs, physical therapy (including pelvic floor muscle exercises), home accessibility assessment, as well as patient coaching and education to help prevent accidents before they occur.
  • Diabetes Care: MedStar VNA’s comprehensive diabetes care program includes education and lifestyle analysis designed to help improve or maintain quality of life. Nurses offer education and assistance with blood sugar monitoring, meal planning, wound care, foot care, and insulin management.
  • Gastroenterology Care: Patients with digestive tract disorders achieve independence and live comfortably at home with nursing, wound, and ostomy care support from MedStar VNA’s clinical experts.
  • Geriatric Care: Senior citizens have unique emotional, physical and medical needs that require specialized care. MedStar VNA specializes in the care of older adults and the chronic conditions they often suffer from, including: dementia, arthritis, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, functional disability, and hypertension.
  • Heart Care: MedStar VNA’s home health experts specialize in treating patients with heart conditions like congestive heart failure, as well as those recovering from heart surgeries like coronary artery bypass graft or open heart surgery.
  • Neurological Rehabilitation: MedStar VNA offers specialized nursing care and rehabilitation services to people with neurological disease, trauma, or brain surgery. Commonly treated neurological conditions include: Alzheimer's disease and dementia, brain tumors and hemorrhages, epilepsy, memory disorders, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, nerve damage, neuromuscular disorders, neurosurgery, Parkinson's disease, and cerebrovascular accident (stroke).
  • Orthopedic Care: MedStar VNA’s rehabilitation team provides a well-structured, evidence-based rehabilitation program for patients recovering from orthopedic illness and injury, such as multiple orthopedic trauma, hip fracture surgery, joint replacements, and arthritis. Homecare physical and occupational therapists offer condition-specific treatments to improve patients’ strength, mobility, and balance.
  • Pain Management: Patients with acute or chronic pain achieve and maintain their maximum level of independence and comfort through self-care education, therapy, and skilled nursing services. Conditions often requiring in-home pain management include: diagnosis or recent onset of disease, pain after surgery, cancer-related pain, or wound pain.
  • Palliative Care: Some patients face long-term, critical illnesses that negatively impact their quality of life. MedStar VNA offers support and treatment that focuses on the relief of symptoms, pain, and stress associated with managing these conditions.
  • Stroke Recovery: Recovering from a stroke can be physically and emotionally challenging. To help stroke victims regain a quality of life, MedStar VNA provides an interdisciplinary approach to stroke rehabilitation. With help from skilled nurses and physical, occupational and speech therapists, patients are able to relearn skills lost due to stroke.
  • Surgery Recovery: After surgery, regaining strength and managing pain can be a challenge. MedStar VNA offers skilled nurses and therapists who specialize in helping patients regain their independence at home post surgery.
  • Transplant Rehabilitation: Recovering from transplant surgery requires specialized care and an individual recovery plan. After a hospital stay, patients may need continued medical care at home. Our skilled nursing and therapy services help transplant patients manage new medicines, understand and follow doctor’s orders, and identify symptoms of organ rejection.
  • Wound Care: To meet patients' wound care needs, a team of MedStar VNA nurses hold a special wound, ostomy and continence care certification. These nurses visit patients' homes and consult with other nurses to monitor wounds and ensure they show improvement.

Contact Us

To find out more about our home healthcare services, call: 800-862-2166.

Do You Qualify?

Patients must meet certain Eligibility Requirements to qualify for in-home healthcare services.

Companion and Homemaking Services

companion services

The experienced caregivers from MedStar VNA Care Partners are available to help you or a loved one with the extra non-medical assistance needed to live safely and comfortably at home. Care and support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on a private-pay basis, in Montgomery, Prince George’s and Howard Counties, MD. Whether current caregivers are looking for brief respite care or help is needed on a regular basis, we can build a plan that works for the individual’s unique needs.

We realize that each individual has different needs and that these requirements may change. Our in-home companions offer flexibility to meet the needs and interests of our individual clients. Companions can help individuals with daily living activities (as appropriate), encourage self-esteem, and promote independence and healthy living.

We realize that each individual has different needs and that these requirements may change. Our companions offer flexibility to meet the needs and interests of our individual clients. Companions can help individuals with daily living activities (as appropriate), encourage self-esteem, and promote independence and healthy living.

Companion Services:

  • Companionship and conversation
  • Safety supervision
  • Assistance with start-of-day activities (ie: picking out clothes)
  • Reminder services (medications, dates, routines, etc.)
  • Monitoring diet and eating habits
  • Entertainment (games, crafts, reading, etc.)
  • Arranging and escorting to appointments and social events

Housekeeping Services:

  • Light house cleaning
  • Errands (prescription pick-up, dry cleaning, etc.)
  • Organizing and reading mail
  • Grocery shopping
  • Laundry and ironing
  • Assistance with pet care
  • Planning, preparing, and cleaning up meals

Regardless of the activity or need, our companions strive to ensure that the client has a safe and enjoyable experience.

Careful Employee Screening

Your personal safety is important to us. All of our caregivers are employed by MedStar Visiting Nurse Association (VNA). We do not use contract or registry staff to perform these services. Prior to employment, all applicants must undergo a comprehensive background check, driving record evaluation, as well as drug and alcohol testing. This is how we ensure that only trustworthy, competent caregivers visit our clients’ homes.

Contact Us

To find out more about our home healthcare services, call: 800-862-2166.

Healthy-at-Home Assessment

Recovering from an illness or a hospital stay may take time. To make sure that home is the safest and most appropriate place to recover, one of our registered nurses will assess the client’s unique needs.

The Healthy-at-Home Assessment includes:

  • A survey of the home environment to identify the need for additional support or to identify safety risks.
  • Instruction and organization of medicines
  • Assessment of personal care needs and recommendations
  • Identification of community support resources that may be needed
  • Assistance and direction to set up doctor appointments for follow up

During the assessment, be honest about your needs. Ask yourself:

  • What were you able to do prior to hospitalization?
  • What was your living situation like?
  • Were you receiving help prior to hospitalization?
  • How are you feeling?
  • What's your general health condition?
  • What kind of practical support do you need?
  • Are you independent in daily living activities?
    1. Transferring
    2. Toileting
    3. Bathing
    4. Dressing
    5. Feeding self
  • Will my condition improve with physical and/or occupational therapy? (Specific examples include stroke, hip fracture, head injury, or generalized reconditioning from pneumonia or prolonged bed-rest.)
  • Do you have any other skilled needs? (IV medications, specialized wound care, tube feeding, respiratory care)

It is possible that the assessment will find that caring for yourself at home is not the best option. If this happens, a MedStar VNA Care Partners team member can help you investigate other options and other sources of support.

Contact Us

To find out more about our home healthcare services, call: 800-862-2166.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy helps individuals who have physical, developmental, social, or emotional limitations that prevent them from performing the general activities of daily living.

MedStar Visiting Nurse Association's occupational therapists instruct patients to use special techniques and equipment to improve function in basic household tasks, such as eating, bathing, and dressing. The goal of this therapy is to assist the patient in becoming as independent as possible.

In-Home Services

Contact Us

To find out more about our home healthcare services, call: 800-862-2166.

Afraid of Falling?

Take this brief quiz to see if home healthcare could help you prevent falling and injury. 

 

Speech Therapy

Patients with communication and swallowing conditions can receive a variety of speech therapy services to enhance their independence and quality of life.

MedStar Visiting Nurse Association's speech therapy services are provided by certified speech-language pathologists who are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with these conditions. Speech therapists help patients develop unique approaches to restore abilities like communicating, swallowing and talking. They also help patients find ways to compensate for impaired understanding and expression of language.

In-Home Speech Therapy Services

  • Evaluation and treatment of
    • Receptive and expressive language disorders
    • Speech disorders
    • Cognitive-communication disorders
    • Oral-motor skills
    • Swallowing disorders
    • Voice disorders
  • Treatment with augmentative-alternative communication systems and devices

Speech Therapy Goals

Our speech language pathologists evaluate and treat patients who have difficulty speaking, listening, reading, and writing. We assess and create intensive treatment plans for patients with cognitive, thinking, and memory problems, as well as patients who have difficulty or cannot swallow. Goals of SLP’s include:

  • Maximize a patient's functional independence in communicating and swallowing
  • Reduce the risk of aspiration and choking
  • Increase the patient's and caregiver's knowledge of speech, language and swallowing disorders, and of appropriate treatment processes

Medical Conditions Commonly Treated

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Alzheimer's disease and dementia
  • Progressive neurologic disorders
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Voice disorders
  • Other medical conditions that affect swallowing

MedStar VNA’s speech-language pathologists provide patients with diet plans, exercises, and tips for family and friends. From providing encouragement to allowing as much independence as possible, we focus on making a positive difference in our patients’ lives.

Contact Us

To find out more about our home healthcare services, call: 800-862-2166.

Afraid of Falling?

Take this brief quiz to see if home healthcare could help you prevent falling and injury. 

 

Physical Therapy

 

MedStar Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) provides physical therapy services to improve the quality of patients’ lives by increasing motion and mobility, eliminating pain, and promoting the prevention of further injury.

In-Home Physical Therapy Services

During the first visit, the therapist performs an evaluation of each patient's unique needs. The physical therapist then creates an individualized treatment plan based on the evaluation and clinically proven therapy methods.

A key element of the treatment plan is the personalized exercise program that therapists develop for each patient. . The exercise program aims to help improve health and help patients return to a normal lifestyle. The exercise programs can help to:

  • Improve overall strength
  • Improve how well the body uses oxygen
  • Decrease symptoms of illness
  • Improve breathing
  • Strengthen the heart
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve circulation
  • Improve overall energy and help patients stay active
  • Decrease pain
  • Improve sleep and relaxation
  • Enhance mental and emotional outlook
  • Improve balance
  • Reduce risk for falls

Treatment Plans May Also Include

Commonly Treated Conditions

  • Stroke/neurological disorders
  • Joint replacement
  • Amputation
  • Head injury
  • Foot and ankle sprain, fracture or injury
  • Hand and arm sprain, fracture or injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Arthritis
  • Post-traumatic injuries
  • Balance disorders

Fall Prevention

Falling at home is one of the leading causes of fatal and non-fatal injuries and hospital visits for trauma among older adults.  MedStar VNA therapists place high importance on fall prevention and identifying risks. A fear of falling causes one to limit their activities and social engagements. This can lead to a physical decline, depression, and isolation.  Take this quiz to see if home health care therapy may be able to help you reduce your risk of falling:

Contact Us

To find out more about our home healthcare services, call: 800-862-2166.

Afraid of Falling?

Take this brief quiz to see if home healthcare could help you prevent falling and injury. 

 

In-Home Pain Management Services

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MedStar Visiting Nurse Association's (VNA) main goal is to help patients with acute or chronic pain achieve and maintain their maximum level of independence and comfort. Through self-care education, therapy and skilled nursing services, MedStar VNA's patients are able to safely remain in their homes, even after home healthcare is no longer needed.

In-Home Pain Management Services Include:

Conditions Often Requiring In-home Pain Management:

  • Diagnosis or recent onset of disease
  • Recent hospitalization
  • Patients with acute or chronic pain
  • Pain after joint replacement surgery
  • Pain after surgery
  • Cancer-related pain
  • Wound pain
  • Gastric bypass complications

Contact Us

To find out more about our home healthcare services, call: 800-862-2166.