HealthFirst Private Duty Services

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For more info, questions, or to seek immediate Hospice care, please call:321.434.1744

To see a full listing of our Hospice locations, and contact information, please click here.

What is Hospice Care?

The term "Hospice" originated in the Middle Ages and referred to a place for travelers or strangers to stop for solace and refreshment before continuing on their journey. Today, "Hospice care" is more commonly known as providing care for terminally-ill patients and their families.

Focused on caring, instead of curing, Hospice of Health First care neither hastens nor prolongs the dying process, but does provide help and comfort in coping with a life-limiting illness, concentrating on pain control and symptom management so that patients can maximize the quality of their remaining time. In addition to physical health and comfort, Hospice care also focuses on the emotional needs and spiritual well-being for patients and their loved ones.

When is it time for Hospice?
Differences between Private Duty Nursing, Skilled Home Care, and Hospice Care
Who Qualifies for Hospice Care?
Paying for Hospice Care
Accepted Insurances
Family Testimonials
Contact Us
Our Team

When is it time for Hospice?

Typically, when a physician gives a patient six months or less to live, he or she will advise the patient and his or her closest family member to seek out Hospice assistance. However, there is no exact answer, as every family and patient is unique. Some families wish they had sought out Hospice sooner, as it often takes some of the burden off families, allowing them to spend more quality time with their loved one, who generally experiences less pain while in Hospice care. Patients are evaluated to ensure they meet Medicare guidelines to receive Hospice care, and the following questions are considered to ensure it is the right time to seek assistance from Hospice of Health First :

  • Are medical treatments for the patient with an end-stage disease no longer helping or working?
  • Has the patient had one or more life-threatening infections during the past six months?
  • Have there been multiple trips to the hospital or Emergency Room during the past year?
  • Has there been unintentional weight loss and/or decreased food intake in combination with a serious illness?
  • Does the patient have difficulty swallowing?
  • Has there been a continued decline in the patient's ability to function?
  • Has a physician noted that there's no further treatment available for the patient and that care will now focus on providing comfort to relieve symptoms, as opposed to prolonging life?
  • Do caregivers need additional support to provide care?
  • Is there any expectation for a meaningful recovery?
  • Has a physician given the patient a prognosis of six months or less to live?

If your family member is in need of Hospice care and you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, you can contact Hospice of Health First at 321.434.1744 to discuss options for arranging professional Hospice care.

Who Qualifies for Hospice Care?

For admission into Hospice of Health First, the following are required:

  • Consent and/or referral by the patient's physician
  • The patient must currently reside in Brevard County
  • The patient has been diagnosed as having a life-limiting illness with a prognosis of six months or less to live
  • The patient has an available caregiver to make decisions

Differences between Home Care, Private Duty Nursing, and Hospice Care

There are some basic differences between Home Care, Private Duty Nursing, and Hospice (hyperlinked.) The biggest difference is that Home Care is typically short-term care for transitioning patients from hospital to home. Private Duty Nursing is a longer-term commitment for those needing more consistent, daily care. Hospice provides care for those diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Paying for Hospice Care

Hospice services are covered by Medicaid, Medicare, most private insurance plans, and/or other managed care systems. While some Hospice providers won't admit patients who do not have insurance coverage for Hospice care, Hospice of Health First is a not-for-profit organization and will never turn away anyone who cannot afford to pay.

Accepted Insurances

  • Aetna
  • BCBS - HMO, PPO, NWB, Traditional
  • Choice Care PPO
  • Christian Care Medi-Share
  • Coventry/First Health
  • Disney Cruise Lines
  • Evolutions HealthCare Systems
  • HealthChoice
  • HealthSmart
  • Health First Health Plans
  • InterPlan
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Tricare
  • United HealthCare

Medicare Hospice Benefit

There are many advantages to choosing Hospice of Health First to care for your loved one, including the Medicare Hospice benefit.

  • Covers Hospice care, medications and physician visits related to the terminal diagnosis, and medical equipment needed for patient care
  • Hospice of Health First has a dedicated local pharmacy that allows us access to medications immediately
  • Hospice of Health First works with Health First Medical Equipment and other vendors to provide the delivery of medical equipment required for the plan of care
  • The Hospice Respite Benefit provides five days of care for the Hospice patient so caregivers can take a break from caregiving to travel, complete medical procedures, or fulfill other personal needs

Family Testimonials

The following are direct quotes from anonymous family members who have experienced Hospice of Health First services. These statements capture just a few of their experiences:

"Prior to my mother's cancer, we had no real knowledge about Hospice. I cannot thank the wonderful, caring, efficient staff enough."

"The staff at the William Childs Hospice House did an exceptional job of not only helping my wife, but making sure the family was comfortable during this time."

"I couldn't have asked for a better team of caregivers or facility. The staff ensured I was kept apprised of my grandfather's health and condition as well as what to expect next-his passing was peaceful and the encouragement we received... was second to none. Thank you so much."

"I want you to know that I could not have asked for a better support team. They kept me well-informed and helped me through some very difficult moments. The nurses and entire staff were comforting and knowledgeable. I loved our caseworker and hope that when my time comes I am treated with the same dignity that my Mom was."

Contact Us

Hospice of Health First - Cape Canaveral
Inpatient Unit 4th Floor
701 W. Cocoa Beach Cswy
Cocoa Beach, 32931
321.434.1744 (Main Hospice of Health First number & referrals)

Hospice of Health First - Melbourne
1131 W. New Haven Ave.
West Melbourne, FL 32904
321.434.1744 (Main number & referrals)
Fax: 321.952.0382

William Childs Hospice House
381 Medplex Parkway
Palm Bay, FL 32905
321.434.1744 (Main Hospice of Health First number & referrals)
Fax: 321.952.0382

Bright Star Center for Grieving Children & Families
1131 W. New Haven Ave.
West Melbourne, FL 32904
321.434.1744 (Main Hospice of Health First number & referrals)

Health First Hospice serves all of Brevard County and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients and families can have peace of mind knowing that when they call Hospice of Health First, a knowledgeable staff member will always answer the phone.

Our Team

The Hospice patient's plan of care is developed by our Hospice team to meet the unique needs of each patient and their loved ones. On call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, our caring, compassionate staff consists of:

Hospice Medical Director

  • Oversees the plan of care for all patients
  • Works in coordination with each patient's physician, assisting with symptom management, medical management, and home visits

Attending Physician

  • Involved in the patient's plan of care in coordination with the Hospice team

Registered Nurses (RNs)/ Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs):

  • Available 24/7 to address the patient's pain and symptom management
  • Communicate with the patient's physician and Hospice Medical Director
  • Make routine visits and provide continuous care as needed for each patient
  • Assist with respite care as needed

Social Workers

  • Involved in advanced care planning, including Advance Directives, funeral planning, insurance eligibility, and transportation
  • Offer supportive counseling to enhance the patient and family's ability to cope with a life-limiting illness

Hospice Aides

  • Provide assistance for activities of daily living and total care for patients
  • Provide the patient and family with companionship and respite care, as needed

Clergy (Hospice Chaplains)

  • Provide spiritual support for patients and families
  • Assist with memorial services and planning

Bereavement Specialists

  • Provide Bereavement care for at least 13 months tailored to the individual and family
  • Provide no-cost group and individual counseling to deal with loss


Hospice of Health First

We will keep your loved ones feeling "at home".