Heart Disease is often very stressful for patients and their family caregivers. Patients frequently experience stress over confusing medications and uncomfortable, debilitating and frightening symptoms that are difficult to manage and accept.

Those living with heart disease often feel they are a mere shadow of their former selves. Quality of life becomes compromised and they may no longer be able to experience activities they once enjoyed. They watch who they used to be quietly slip away as the disease progresses.

Though caring for a loved one with heart disease will not be easy, the support you give as a caregiver will have an incredibly positive impact for your loved one. Beyond the tasks of daily caregiving there are other simple, yet impactful, ways you can support a loved one with heart disease.


  • Manage Your Own Wellbeing.  According to the Heart Foundation, it’s important for you to take time to recognize your emotional state and take real steps to manage your own health. Ensuring your own well-being helps you be a better caregiver. Get the support you need. Take some time to build a support network for yourself that helps empower you and allows you to share your emotions. Also enlist others to help so not everything is on your shoulders. Your friends and family will often welcome the chance to help out. Let them. Remember your goal is to provide the best care possible, that does not mean doing it all.
  • Find a Balance Between Smothering and Caring. It is difficult to watch a loved one face a serious illness. As a caregiver you step in bravely, wanting to comfort and support them. But remember your loved one’s world has shifted. They may want to fight to remain as independent as possible. They most likely will not want to be treated differently, or have you see them differently. A common complaint of those living with heart disease is that their loved ones hover over them too closely or treat them like they are fragile. Caregiving is empowering, but be sure to find the right balance so your loved one can maintain a sense of self that is not changed by the disease.
  • Listen. One of the most important ways to support your loved one is to simply listen. Every disease carries an emotionally difficult journey. Fear, anxiety, stress and depression may all be emotions your loved one is battling. When they want to talk, stop whatever you are doing and actively listen. Repeat back what your loved one is saying and feeling to make sure you understand. They may not be looking for anything other than to feel understood.
  • Advocate. Taking on a role as your loved one’s advocate can help ensure they are receiving the best care possible. Those living with serious illness often complain that their medical providers are not listening to them or not giving the necessary attention to what they are experiencing. Advocate for your loved one by reinforcing your loved one’s responses to physicians. Help them feel understood and their issues and concerns adequately communicated.
  • Attend Doctor Visits. There will be a lot of information shared by physicians during medical visits. Some may be difficult to understand or confusing. Especially for a patient whose disease may make critical thinking more challenging. Attending doctor visits can help ensure visits are more successful. Take notes so you can recall information as needed. Also ask questions when you need anything clarified. It will be frustrating if you leave an appointment without answers to your questions, so write them down and bring them with you. It’s too easy to forget and regret later what you wish you had asked.
  • Understand Medication. Heart medications can be confusing and the regiment of taking them properly can be difficult. You can help ensure your loved one’s well being by ensuring they gain the full benefit from their medications. Understand the purpose of each prescription, how to take it properly and what side effects it may cause. Communicate any issues to your loved one’s medical team.
  • Plan for the Future. Planning now for the days ahead will reduce anxiety and stress tomorrow. Knowledge is power. Understand the progression of the disease and options for care in the future when more support will become necessary. Ask your loved one about their wishes for end of life care. What is important to them? Understanding their wishes can help prepare for choices like hospice care that is focused on improving quality of life. 

Caring for someone with heart disease is demanding. It’s mentally, physically and emotionally challenging. The day-in and day-out demands of caregiving can feel overwhelming especially as the disease progresses. Heart disease is progressive and there may come a time when you need an extra layer of support.

ViaQuest Hospice teams are expertly trained in heart disease. Our care brings an extra layer of support that helps improve quality of life and eases the burdens of serious illness. If you have any questions about caring for a loved one with advancing heart disease, we’re here to help, reach out to us for options and answers. Caring for your loved one will be easier if you have a strong group of people around to help. 



It’s time again for those promising New Year’s resolutions. Every year many of us vow to make positive changes. Some will focus on eating healthier and getting into shape, others saving money or getting out of debt. Some will promise to live more fully by spending more time with family and friends or traveling more. If you are a family caregiver we hope to encourage you to add self-care to the top of your list.

Family caregivers never put on their oxygen masks first. Every day we see the care, compassion and dedication you give your loved one. As a care provider, you’re always putting others first. So where’s your oxygen? ViaQuest wishes you a New Year filled with a little more ‘YOU-care’. We know you can’t add more time to your day, so here’s a few self-care tips that don’t require much time, yet can help you breathe a little easier.

– Express gratitude. Acknowledging the goodness in your life can make you more optimistic and feel better about your life.

– Sing Out Loud. When driving, roll down those windows and SING. Singing sends musical vibrations through your body that can lift your mood. Make it loud and proud.

– Be The Original You. You were born an original piece of art. When you practice self love by being fully yourself and liking who you are, you give yourself more strength to love others. Don’t look at yourself as only a caregiver, get back to who you were before.

– Ask For A Hug. When you have the opportunity, ask for a hug. Getting a hug from a good (healthy) friend can help ease your stress. Hugs are comforting and good for your health. The firm, constant pressure of a hug can help calm an overactive sympathetic nervous system. If you’re not in a situation where you can safely get a hug, consider a weighted blanket.

– Celebrate You. Embrace the good you are doing. Acknowledge your incredible contributions to your loved one. See the best in yourself.

– Take a little ME-time. Sip that morning coffee, listen to your favorite song, the whole song, take a deep breath. Carving out even just a few minutes a day can help you reset.

– Accept Help. When caring for someone, it’s so difficult to accept help. Many feel it is their sole responsibility to care for their loved one. Others feel no one will care as deeply or as well for their loved one as they do. But accepting help will empower you to be a better caregiver. We can’t do our best when we’re running on empty. When friends or family say they want to help, they mean it. Let them take a bit of the responsibility off your shoulders. And when it’s time for an extra layer of support, ViaQuest can bring an entire team of expert, compassionate care that helps empower the care you are already giving.

The new year can be a time of new beginnings. While it may be challenging to consider your own needs, these very simple steps can help. Caregiver burnout is real and can take a devastating toll on your own health and well-being. Even just a little self-care can go a long way to help ensure you are able to provide the best care possible to your loved one. Consider making 2023 the year of self-care. And remember, if you or your loved one needs an extra layer of support, we’re always just a call away. Learn how ViaQuest Hospice cares for the mind, body, and spirit.


When a loved one is seriously ill and facing the end of life, considering how to provide the best support and care possible is not easy. As a family caregiver, your role is one that is both beautiful and overwhelming. It’s difficult to acknowledge when it may be time for hospice. When considering how to meet your loved one’s needs and wishes, it helps to understand what is most important at this juncture. Ask yourself what matters most to you, your loved one and your family. If the goals have turned to quality of life and helping your loved one live as fully as possible, then hospice may be the answer. Many people may not understand how hospice gives the gift of time, family and support.


Too many people misunderstand the role of hospice care and only consider hospice in the very last days of life. Many of the families we’ve cared for tell us that they wish they had chosen hospice care sooner. Hospice adds life to days. ViaQuest Hospice provides meaningful, thoughtful care focused on quality of life. Care is patient focused and centered around the patient’s and family’s wishes. Hospice also gives patients and their families the ability to spend precious quality time together, creating memories and recapturing joy.


ViaQuest Hospice improves quality of life. Through expert pain control and symptom management, hospice adds “life” to the days that remain. Hospice also adds days. Research has shown that people on hospice care live longer than those who are not receiving hospice. When time has become most precious, ViaQuest Hospice can help you and your loved one live the days that remain more fully. ViaQuest’s support also allows families to spend less time managing their loved one’s care and spend more time simply being together. We bring a full breadth of support into the home, including CNAs who help in daily caregiving like bathing, grooming, changing bed linens, light housekeeping and light meal preparation. Our team also arranges any needs your loved one may have related to their life-limiting illness, including medications and medical equipment like hospital beds. We “share the care,” giving you the precious gift of spending more quality time with your loved one.


When days become limited, it is often home and family that matter most. Hospice care can help your loved one remain in the comfort of “home” with family. ViaQuest Hospice care is provided wherever your loved one calls home. Patients are able to remain with their family, surrounded by the things they love. Care is available in a private home, assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility. ViaQuest Hospice also provides an extra layer of support that enables family members to resume their role of wife, mother, daughter, husband or son through our ability to share the care. Our extra layer of support helps you return to being a family, with less stress and more peace of mind. In a very real sense, hospice gives the gift of family.


Caring for a loved one with an advanced illness is not easy. Though we take on this role out of love and respect, it’s a challenging journey. As your loved one’s illness progresses, new challenges arise. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even lost. You don’t have to face this alone. Hospice gives the gift of support. ViaQuest Hospice helps ease the stress and burden of serious illness by providing an extra layer of real support. Our expert care and support empowers family caregivers with the reinforcement of a highly skilled team that provides education, respite care, resources and emotional support. Our team includes physicians, nurses, CNAs, social workers, chaplains and volunteers whose skill and compassionate care combine to bring you a complete support system. We also understand the real need for time away.  ViaQuest Respite Services provide families and caregivers with a necessary break from providing around-the-clock care. This gives family caregivers the opportunity to rest and tend to their own needs. Not only is this important in reducing the pressures that can come from full-time care, but it ultimately allows caretakers to return more effectively to caregiving and really be present. While we provide expert medical care for your loved one and share caregiving duties, we provide the entire family with emotional and spiritual care to help you deal with the emotional toll of illness. ViaQuest Hospice ensures you won’t face this challenging journey alone.


If your loved one is struggling with serious illness, ViaQuest can help through expert care, symptom management, caregiver support and education. ViaQuest Hospice improves quality of life for those living with advanced illnesses, including COPD, CHF cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s, ALS, and kidney or liver disease. Learn more about how we can help your loved one live more fully. If you think it’s time to consider extra support, here are some great tips on how to have the conversation.

5 Ways to Get Extra Care for a Loved One with COPD

5 ways to get extra care for a loved one with COPD

If you are a caregiver for a loved one with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), you likely understand the toll this disease can take on one’s physical and mental health. COPD is a frightening, challenging, and stressful illness. As the disease progresses, the most frightening symptoms of COPD increase, leading to frequent hospitalizations. There may come a time when it is necessary to get extra care for a loved one with COPD. In this blog, we share 5 ways to get extra support for a loved one with COPD.

As winter approaches, the change in season and drops in temperature can cause COPD symptoms to worsen, and you may notice your loved one struggling even more than usual. You may realize that you need an extra layer of support as the stress of the illness increases and symptoms increase. As COPD worsens, your loved one may have repeated lung infections that lead to hospitalizations, have trouble walking and breathing, become dependent on oxygen, and rely on the help of family caregivers.

The first step in gaining an extra layer of support is understanding when it may be time to seek additional care.

When to Consider Hospice Care

If you are unsure when to seek an extra layer of support, consider some of these signs that it may be time.

  • Increased emergency room visits or hospitalizations for COPD complications
  • Shortness of breath to the point your loved feels like they can’t breathe
  • Increased fatigue, depression, anxiety, and stress
  • Need for continuous oxygen or increased use of bronchodilators
  • Any disease progression
  • Choosing to focus on comfort rather than cure of the disease
  • Patient or family feeling the need to call your doctor’s office with questions about medication and symptoms

5 Ways to Get Extra Care

If you believe your loved one’s disease is becoming more difficult to manage or that their quality of life is being more compromised, it may be time to accept additional support. Here are some tips to help move forward in getting the care your loved one needs and support for you as their caregiver.

Talk to your doctor. Share your concerns with your loved one’s physician. Give them a realistic view of how your loved one is doing, sharing any increasing symptoms, stresses, and burdens of the disease. Be honest with them about your own ability to cope as their caregiver and your ability to continue to meet your loved one’s growing needs. Be frank about your concerns. It is OK to ask your loved one’s physician to refer you to a care provider like ViaQuest for support. You are the one closest to your loved one and have the best knowledge of how they are really doing.

Prepare for tomorrow. There is currently no cure for this chronic and progressive disease. By understanding COPD, its progression, and what to expect, you can prepare for a time when it becomes necessary for extra support and a change in your loved one’s ability to care for themselves. Knowing what’s ahead allows you to also accept that you will have limitations as their caregiver and the need for expert care. Prepare a list of potential organizations that can provide the care needed when the time comes. Do your research now vs. when you are exhausted and in a panic state. Reach out to care providers like ViaQuest to understand what is involved in gaining their support. This way, you will have aligned the resources to be there when you need them.

Expect Support. Expecting support is OK. Let’s say that another way – expecting support is the best thing for you and your loved one. Admit it, caregiving is hard. Though many are more than willing to do anything for their loved one, caregiving is physically and emotionally exhausting. Let others help. When friends offer to help, let them. Taking even one thing off your To Do List can ease your stress. If you struggle answering friends when they ask, “How can I help?” look at the things you have to do daily, weekly, or monthly. Can they pick up some groceries, run an errand, drive the kids to their soccer game, pick up prescriptions, take the dog to the vet, or simply be there to when you need to vent? If you write a list of all your responsibilities, then you know how to answer their request to help. And realize, they really do want to help. It’s OK to let them, no one can do it all. You will be a more effective caregiver to your loved one by sharing the care.

Move Past the Guilt. You may feel guilty seeking caregiving support and that by doing so, you will be letting your loved one down or make them feel you don’t want the responsibility. But many of our patients have told us many times that they wished their family caregiver could just be their daughter, son, wife, or husband again. Caregiving can change your role with your loved one. When a disease like COPD progresses and caregiving becomes your main focus, it overshadows your relationship, who you used to be to them, who they used to be to you. If you can’t move past the guilt, you’ll never seek the help you both need. Realize that by returning to your role as daughter, son, wife, or husband, you are giving both of you a gift of recapturing the precious time that remains together.

Consider Hospice Care. You may not realize that hospice care can be a beneficial support system that greatly improves quality of life while reducing the stress and burden of serious illnesses like COPD. It’s never easy to come to terms with the advancing illness of a loved one, yet hospice is most effective when started early on. Considering hospice sooner ensures your loved one, and you as their caregiver, will gain the full benefit of the expert care and the extra layer of support hospice brings. Hospice care providers like ViaQuest are experts in serious illnesses, including COPD. ViaQuest brings a level of care that can control distressing symptoms, increase comfort, and help keep your loved one out of the hospital. Imagine a complete support system of physicians, nurses, counselors, and chaplains providing focused care to your loved one and support to your family while CNAs help with caregiving support like bathing, grooming, changing beds, and light meals. The other great benefit of hospice care is access to an RN 24/7. You have expert support for those frightening symptoms that seem to happen at 3 am. ViaQuest also provides all medical equipment and supplies related to the illness. You may think this incredible amount of support is expensive, but care is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurers.

If you have a loved one living with COPD, remember you don’t have to face this serious illness alone. Comfort, support, and an extra layer of caring are available. If you’re unsure about what level of care makes the most sense in regard to your loved one’s illness today, we can help. Give us a call at 855-289-1722 or reach out to us here, and we’ll help determine if our hospice services are right for you.

Medline Makes it Easier for Patients to Receive Critical Supplies through New Patient Home Direct Deal with ViaQuest

Robust resources, efficiencies and dedicated service to drive $100,000 in savings


Experts say the graying of America and rising number of chronic conditions are compelling more people to seek quality healthcare in their homes. In order for home health agencies to keep up with demand, enhance the well-being of patients and remain competitive, they must align with strategic partners who can help drive improved outcomes. That’s why ViaQuest Home Health and Hospice turned to leading medical supplier Medline to simplify how patients across Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania can receive vital medical supplies at home.

As part of this new patient home direct deal, Medline will ship anywhere in the country in 48-hours guaranteed with the majority of orders coming next day. This is possible through the company’s more than 40 distribution centers strategically located across the country to ensure customers can receive high quality products when and where they need them most.

Robust Resources and Expertise

As a manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies and clinical programs, Medline helps facilities achieve both clinical and financial success. For ViaQuest, Medline took a closer look at adult brief usage and discovered varying types being used in multiple locations. Teams conducted a trial to reduce variance which led to more focused training and improved pricing. The company is now exploring similar ways to uncover additional savings for gloves, skin health and wound care products. In addition, the Medline Care Solutions program will allow Medline to handle non-Medicare billing for approved supplies. This means agencies can order from one medical supplier instead of multiple companies.

“Today’s healthcare leaders are under pressure to deliver quality, improve patient care and bring down expenses. This can be a tall order without trusted partners by your side,” says Joshua Paul, regional vice president, homecare division, Medline. “Our dedicated teams understand the healthcare business and the pains our customers face. This partnership with ViaQuest is a perfect example of how Medline can bring expertise and resources from across an entire company together to drive meaningful results.”

“With the challenges facing our industry today, we needed more than a medical supply vendor,” says Kathy Richard, RN, chief clinical officer, ViaQuest Home Health and Hospice. “With Medline, we found a strategic partner who took the time to understand our specific business goals and provided us the specific tools we needed to manage our cost. From clinical expertise to business analysis and reviews, we expect to see advanced clinical outcomes and enhanced cost management with Medline for 2017.”

After nearly two decades of home care experience, Medline understands that home health agencies need more than quality medical supplies. Learn about the comprehensive suite of services and programs available by visiting

About Medline

Medline is a global manufacturer and distributor serving the healthcare industry with medical supplies and clinical solutions that help customers achieve both clinical and financial success. Headquartered in Northfield, Ill., the company offers 350,000+ medical devices and support services through more than 1,200 direct sales representatives who are dedicated points of contact for customers across the continuum of care. For more information on Medline, go to or to connect with Medline on its social media channels.

About ViaQuest

ViaQuest, Inc. is a healthcare company that believes strongly in choice for its employees and the people it serves. Its areas of expertise include home health and hospice, mental and behavioral health, veteran services, employment services, and developmental disabilities throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. ViaQuest offers quality, highly-personalized, specialized and cost-effective care, empowering individuals to function independently and live their best possible lives. Through a wide range of innovative services referred to as ViaQuest’s Circle of Care, a skilled, dedicated staff ensures that the people served are active participants in their own care. The company is based in Dublin, Ohio. For more information, call ViaQuest at 614.339.8408 or visit

Career Exploration Experiences for High School Students with Disabilities

ViaQuest Diversity & Inclusion Services and Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) partner for students with disabilities


*Reposted from the Shriners Hospitals for Children-Cincinnati November e-Newsletter

As part of our commitment to our community, we partnered with ViaQuest and Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) in their “my tomorrow*ed” initiative during the week of September 12. This initiative provides CPS students with disabilities a look at real-world jobs, and promotes real-world experiences for the students to consider as they transition from high school to the world of employment. Rick Johngrass and Jo Ellen McCarthy, along with staff from ViaQuest, hosted students in 10th grade from five different CPS high schools to provide “Career Exploration Experiences”. Students had a chance to learn about our hospital and potential future job opportunities in healthcare. They also toured the second floor patient care unit to see what it might look like to work in a hospital. ViaQuest and CPS both ex-pressed their thanks for our participation in this important endeavor, and Stephen Buckner, ViaQuest Transition Services Supervisor, presented the hospital with a Certificate of Appreciation for contributing to the success of the program.