South Shore Hospice Services:

Our South Shore Hospice nurse explains medicine

Hospice provides support and care for those in the last phases of a life-limiting illness. When a person has an advanced life-limiting illness and has pain and other forms of suffering, he/she may choose comfort care rather than curative care. Hospice affirms life by emphasizing quality of life and neither hastens nor postpones death.

Hospice care is provided to patients in the comfort of their own home or home-like setting. Wherever the patient lives . . . in one’s own home, family member’s home, assisted living community, hospital, nursing home facility, or our Hospice Residence in Hingham  . . . needing hospice in Plymouth, Hingham, Quincy, Milton or anywhere on the South Shore. . . our Norwell VNA (NVNA) and Hospice staff visits to provide hospice services. “Because there really is no place like home.”

The NVNA and Hospice team provides professional medical care that focuses on pain control and symptom management. Together, our South Shore hospice team meets the clinical, psychosocial, spiritual, and support needs of each of our patients and their families and caregivers. In addition to a nurse case manager, medical social worker and home health aides, the team may include a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, spiritual care coordinator and volunteers as requested by the patient and family.

Families can count on our Hospice professionals for ongoing support and education. The Spiritual Care Coordinator respects each patient’s personal beliefs and supports their individual spiritual needs. This is an optional service that the patient, or family, may accept to connect with local clergy, discuss spirituality with a layperson, or simply be provided with resources as requested. Our bereavement coordinator is also available, providing support to surviving caregivers and family members for 13 months following the loss of a loved one.

We also help access and/or provide hospice-related services such as

Our Hospice Residence: Located atop Turkey Hill in Hingham, overlooking Weir Reservation and Hingham and Boston harbors in the horizon, our new hospice residence provides a home-like setting to those unable to remain at home at end of life. The 12-bed residence offers the same residential hospice care one would receive at home. Dying at home is the wish of most people but for some, it isn't feasible. Take the younger parent who doesn't want their small children to witness death in their home. Or, the aging couple whose "healthy" spouse is unable to provide the 24/7 attention and care the dying spouse needs. There's the middle-aged single person who has no family nearby and can't remain at home alone safely. The reasons for a hospice home are many but the purpose is the same, to enable everyone to die with dignity and comfort in a home-like setting.

Our hospice residence is staffed by qualified clinicians and support staff to meet the needs of our hospice patients. For more information about the hospice residence, please call 781-659-2342.  To learn more about employment or volunteer opportunities at the Hospice Residence, please click here.

Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies cover hospice-related services. Covered services include visits from hospice team members as well as medications, medical equipment and supplies related to the hospice diagnosis. No one is denied care because of inability to pay.  For more information on Medicare hospice benefits, click here:


StoryCorps Legacy Project  - a program of the national oral history project offered in partnership with Norwell VNA (NVNA) and Hospice to record and preserve the stories of people affected by serious illness.

Pet Therapy Program -Our pet therapy dogs provide joy and comfort to our patients who request visits. The dogs have been trained and certified as therapy dogs, along with their handlers who have also completed our volunteer training program.

Veteran's Appreciation Program  - We recognize veterans in our hospice service by acknowledging and thanking their service to our country. A presentation of a certificate by our veteran volunteer and local veteran service officer is provided for veterans and their families who wish to participate.

For more information on Hospice Services, please contact our Hospice Program Director at 781-659-2342.

Donations help deliver care

Underfunded and free care needs . . . Adjunct support services . . . Special products to enhance comfort . . . Specialized training and continuous education of staff . . . Community Education . . .
These are all facets of our Hospice Program that benefit from outside funding, such as donations.

While Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies cover hospice-related services, they do so at a fixed, standard daily rate. All visits from hospice team members as well as medications and related medical equipment and supplies are covered. Hospice receives the same daily rate for the complex patient requiring multiple daily visits, and expensive supplies and medical equipment, as it does for the far less complicated patient requiring less.

Our sliding scale system assures that those without sufficient insurance coverage for hospice services will not be denied care. NVNA and Hospice’s assistance or free care to the needy and underinsured increases substantially each year.

There are products that provide invaluable comfort to patients but are extremely high cost items. Such an example is a low airflow mattress that ensures support for the bed-ridden while reducing the probability of bedsores and skin issues and the need for turning the patient frequently by family and caregivers. The cost is high but the value to the patient and family/caregiver is priceless. We believe our bedridden hospice patients deserve as much comfort care as we can provide.

And we believe that Community Education is key to increasing awareness of the hospice benefit and its value for patients, families and caregivers, as well as issues of caregiving and end of life care. Studies show that many hospice families feel their loved ones were referred “too late” to Hospice. Indeed, statistics report that one-third of hospice patients received care for less than one week. (NHPCO data). This is unfortunate since studies also show that hospice offers a better quality of life for patients and their families at this crucial time.

To donate to our Hospice program, or any of the Norwell VNA and Hospice programs, please click here.