How We Help—Our Services
Hospice Care focuses on all aspects of a patient's life and well-being: physical, social, emotional, and spiritual. There's no age restriction. Hospice of Health First provides care in the setting of your choice. Whether you live in your own home, in a Nursing home, an assisted-living facility, or are hospitalized, Hospice of Health First is committed to providing comfort and care for end-of-life patients. We recognize that it takes a team of caregivers to meet the unique needs of each patient. We put the patient and family at the center of all decision-making to ensure that the needs and wants of each patient are met. Hospice caregivers offer knowledge and support at a patient's end of life, just as Obstetricians and Midwives lend care and expertise at the start of life. Hospice can reduce anxiety in both the patient and his or her family by helping make the most of the time remaining and in achieving some level of acceptance.
It has been said that "home is wherever you hang your hat." In-home Hospice Care can be provided wherever you live —in a private home, a skilled Nursing facility or assisted-living facility. In addition to focusing on the physical health and comfort of a patient, Hospice Care also focuses on the emotional needs and spiritual well-being for terminally-ill patients and their loved ones. Hospice of Health First can also provide substantial support and training for family caregivers, helping many patients feel less of a burden to their loved ones.
Hospice of Health First is blessed to have the beautifully serene William Childs Hospice House, located on five secluded acres on the campus of Health First Palm Bay Hospital. The 16-bed, inpatient facility was the first freestanding Hospice facility in Brevard for:
- Patients who require more intensive, skilled Nursing care, symptom management in a supervised setting
- Patients who are imminently facing death without a caregiver or who live in an unstable home situation
- Patients requiring up to a five-day respite stay
The William Childs Hospice House was named by Madeline Childs in memory of her husband, William, who passed away while in the care of Hospice of Health First in February of 2002. Over $4 million in community donations went into building the charming facility. If you're interested in donating to the William Childs Hospice House or to the programs and services of Hospice of Health First, please contact the Health First Foundation at 321.434.7353.
The William Childs Hospice House is open for visitation 24-hours/seven days a week. Children and pets are always welcome. If you or a loved one would like to be evaluated for care at the William Childs Hospice House, please contact your physician for a referral. You can also obtain more information by calling 321.434.8400 or by taking a virtual tour here.
Every effort will be made to provide care in the setting of the patient's choice. However, it's important to keep in mind that no matter where Hospice Care is provided, sometimes it's necessary to be admitted to a hospital. Hospice patients generally only require a short hospital stay to stabilize symptoms, and then they are usually able to return to their homes. The patient's physician and the Hospice of Health First physician will work together to determine the best plan of care.
When the time comes to manage the pain or symptoms of an illness, Hospice of Health First works in cooperation with your physician to provide you with pain medications and medical equipment to help ease suffering. Of course, each plan of care is individualized but usually involves treatment of symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and shortness of breath. We will also train caregivers on ways to help your loved one to ease their suffering and symptoms. We will also help you to anticipate changes that may occur during the course of your loved one's illness. Additionally, Hospice of Health First offers Hospice patients and families unique programs such as Pet Therapy and Arts & Medicine to help patients and family members realize the joy and happiness that animals and/or creativity can bring.
At no time is a helping hand more important than when our loved ones are living with
a life-limiting illness. Hospice volunteers are concerned and caring people who generously donate their time, effort and talents to hospice patients and their families when help is needed most. At Hospice of Health First we believe that our volunteers are an integral part of our team approach to hospice care - and rightly so, as we were founded by community-minded, compassionate volunteers who believe in the Hospice philosophy.
After an intensive Volunteer Orientation program, opportunities for volunteers exist in a variety of different areas including:
- Patient/Family Support —provide companionship and support to hospice patients and families in their own homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities or at the William Childs Hospice House
- Community Outreach —represent Hospice of Health First at health fairs and community events, recruiting volunteers and educating others about Hospice services
- Special Events —assist with programs and events that raise community awareness about Hospice services
- Clerical/Office Support —providing administrative support to the hospice staff in Melbourne and at the William Childs Hospice House
- Bereavement —provide companionship and support to people who have lost a family member or friend
- Transportation —provide transportation for hospice patients and their caregivers to appointments, assist with obtaining groceries and other necessities as needed
- Teens Linking Lives —high school age teens make volunteering a part of their educational experience. Teens bridge the gap between young and old in our community and take the opportunity to learn from the older generation.
- Arts in Medicine —volunteers using their talents of music, art, massage, gardening and cooking to bring joy and comfort to patients and families in Hospice Care
- Hounds of Hospice —certified therapy dogs and trained Hospice voltuneers spread four legged cheer to patients in facilities and their homes
"Respite" means rest or relief. There may come a time during the course of your family member's illness that you as a caregiver need some time away from the tasks of care-giving. Caregiver stress can lead to physical and emotional distress that interferes with your ability to provide care.
Respite Care is designed to provide temporary, short-term assistance in caring for an individual of any age who has special needs and is intended to allow caregivers a chance to emotionally recharge so they can be better prepared to handle the normal day-to-day challenges of caring for a Hospice patient.
Hospice of Health First helps provide time for rest to primary caregivers, by professionals or our specially-trained Hospice Volunteers.
Healing can take all forms. For some, painting and music soothe the soul. For others, petting a sweet dog brings back memories of a best four-legged best friend of childhood. Pet Therapy has been shown to increase pain tolerance, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and bring smiles to patients' faces. The sight of dogs and the touch of their fur often bring peace and joy to those patients whose life once included animals. Therapy Dogs help combat loneliness and give people the chance to have something to look forward to. Through training and experience, Therapy Dogs become part of the Hospice Team. In addition to comforting patients, specially trained Therapy Dogs and their handlers often have the ability to comfort family members, including children. At Hospice of Health First, we are committed to healing in any form that brings joy into the hearts of our patients, including music, art, aromatherapy, culinary arts, and Pet Therapy. Additionally, our Teen Leaders 2 (TL2) program links teenagers with Hospice patients for special game nights and companionship visits.
Hospice of Health First
We will keep your loved ones feeling "at home".