VITAS open Inpatient Hospice Unit at Saint Mary’s

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WATERBURY—VITAS Innovative Hospice Care’s new Inpatient Hospice Unit (IPU) at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury offers state-of-the-art care and expands the continuum of care available at Saint Mary’s from birth to the end of life.
A ribbon cutting and formal dedication of the unit was held March 30.

Located at Saint Mary’s Hospital, Xavier 4, 56 Franklin St., VITAS’ 12-private-bed Inpatient Hospice Unit provides hospice care, along with respite and supportive care. A VITAS interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, volunteers and bereavement support staff attend not only to the medical needs of patients but also to the emotional, social and spiritual needs of patients and their families.

“Home, rather than the hospital, is where most hospice patients want to be,” says Theresa Bachhuber, RN, MPH, VITAS general manager, in a written statement. “But sometimes the illness makes that difficult. If we have a patient who is experiencing acute symptoms, we might give him a new medication so he’ll need close monitoring for a short time. But the patient’s family caregiver might not feel comfortable giving him the new medication, or the patient might not have anyone living with him who can help him. In those kinds of situations, we can move the patient to our IPU for a few days, where our staff can watch him around the clock and ensure that his new medication is working.”

The unit uses soothing colors, homey patterns and comfortable furniture to ensure a non-institutional environment for patients and their family members. There are facilities for families to prepare special meals, or they can use the dining facilities or Jazzman’s Café, located in Saint Mary’s Hospital.

For information, call VITAS at (203) 437-3111 or (800) 755-6710.