Indian River Cty: 772.494.6161
Brevard Cty: 321.805.3848

Hospice Visitation Policy

Policy:  VNA Hospice ensures a home like environment for patients in the VNA Hospice House. VNA Hospice House visitation is typically limited only by the patient or legal representative’s personal preferences. VNA Hospice of Indian River County does not typically impose time limitations or restrictions on a patient’s ability to maintain in-person visitation. However, visitation limitations may be mandated in response to naturally occurring disasters, state of emergency or changing regulatory requirements. Visitor education and infection control standards are the responsibility of the Hospice Administrator.

Procedure:

  1. VNA Hospice of Indian River County allows 24/7 visitation for our patients. VNA Hospice House provides the opportunity for patients to receive visitors at any hour (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), including infants, small children, and pets. Children are to be supervised by a family member at all times.
  2. VNA Hospice House provides space for private patient and family visitation in each patient room and shared common areas.
  3. VNA Hospice House provides accommodations for family members to remain with the patient throughout the night as requested. All patient rooms have recliner sleeper chairs to accommodate visitors.
  4. VNA Hospice House also has a dedicated overnight room available for visitors’ overnight accommodations.
  5. Staff access to care for the patient is not to be restricted by visitors.
  6. Florida Legislature 2022: No Patient Left Alone Act provides for a patient designated Essential or Compassionate Caregiver who will be able to provide in-person visitation to the patient during mandated visitation limitations:
    a.     Essential Caregiver – An individual who provides health care services or assistance with activities of daily living to a patient in a Hospice Inpatient Unit. Assistance can include but is not limited to feeding the patient or sitting with a patient at high risk for falling.
    b.     Compassionate Caregiver – An individual who assists the patient with coping at end of life, during a difficult transition, a loss, or major upset.
  7. Patients may designate a family member, friend, guardian or other individual as their essential or compassionate caregiver.
  8. During timeframes of mandated visitation limitations: patient designated caregivers will retain the ability to visit in-person for at least 2 hours daily in their role as essential or compassionate caregivers regardless of mandated visitation limitations which may be in place. Visitation time allotted as an essential or compassionate caregiver will not be subtracted from any emergent time limitations in place to visitation policies.
  9. Space is provided for patients to receive visitors in comfort and privacy. VNA Hospice of Indian River County has no restrictions governing consensual physical contact between the patient and the visitor.
  10. In instances where there is a risk of cross transmission of infectious diseases, education about transmission-based isolation precautions will be provided to the visitor.
  11. All visitors to the VNA Hospice House will be provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) according to the type of transmission-based infection control precaution(s) being followed or procedures being performed (e.g., Standard, Droplet, Contact or Airborne). 
  12. Visitors to VNA Hospice House may be required to screen for COVID-19 or other emerging pandemic outbreaks of interest as mandated by regulation or Public Health recommendations.
  13. Visitors may be provided a questionnaire upon entry regarding any signs, symptoms or recent exposure to COVID-19 or other emerging pandemic of interest. Visitors who are ill or have had a positive exposure to a communicable or infectious disease such as influenza, COVID-19, etc., are asked to stay home to protect their loved ones, family, other patients and staff. In-person visitation may still occur even if the visitor has had an exposure, a confirmed positive or is currently ill. Visitors who are ill or have had an exposure to a communicable or infectious illnesses such as influenza, COVID-19, etc., must notify staff prior to entering the building. These visitors will be provided PPE outside of the building and may be asked to enter through an alternative entryway to minimize risk of exposure to others in the facility.
  14. Rules pertaining to visitors and visiting hours are explained to the patient and/or the legal representative at the time of admission to the VNA Hospice House.
  15. Individual visitors who fail to follow the visitation policies and procedures may result in the suspension of that specific visitor’s ability to have in-person visits.
  16. Staff reserves the right to notify law enforcement of any threatening behavior, verbal threats or acts of violence within the facility. Individuals engaging in these behaviors or activities will be asked to leave immediately and their ability to engage in in-person visitation will be suspended at that time.
  17. The Interdisciplinary team will review the seriousness of the policy and procedure violation. Dependent upon their outcome, in-person visitation may be reinstated after meeting with the specific visitor to discuss the violation, review the policies and any specific visitation limitations put in place to address the concern. Visitation limitations may include, but not be limited to, accompanied visits, or scheduled visits. Dependent upon the severity of the violation or repeated violation(s), VNA Hospice retains the right to permanently suspend a specific visitor’s right to in-person visitation.
  18. In the event that a visitor needs to file a complaint, make a suggestion, or report a safety concern, VNA asks that visitors discuss their concerns with a staff member who can immediately resolve the issue, ask to speak with the Clinical Manager of the facility, or contact the Hospice Administrator, Allison Parkes at 772-567-5551.