Who We Are

Valley Home Care Hospice
– The Right Care, in the Right Setting, at the Right Time

The LaPoff family already had two dreadful experiences with hospice programs in another part of New Jersey, so when the staff at Brightview Senior Living in Paramus recommend they call Valley Home Care’s hospice team, they flinched.  But Marcia LaPoff’s health was clearly deteriorating, and the staff at Brightview was obligated to either bring in hospice or send her to the emergency room.

“I knew right away that this hospice program was different,” says Cathy Goldman, daughter of Norman and Marcia LaPoff. Valley Home Care’s Community Health Nurse, Amy Law-Rydberg, met with Cathy and her father to assess Marcia’s health.  Together, they prepared a comprehensive plan that provided this 89 year old woman with relief and compassionate care, while maintaining her dignity.  

“Amy was amazing for the whole family, and brought levity and happiness to the heavy atmosphere,” Cathy says. 
Cathy Goldman with her father, Norman LaPoff   

Marcia was petrified of dying, and was always reaching for signs of hope. Amy not only addressed this woman’s physical ailments, she also administered a small dose of optimism at each visit by saying Marcia was one of the healthiest of all of her patients.  “This meant so much to my mom,” Cathy explains. “And lifted her spirits every single time.”

After Marcia passed, Cathy and Norman expressed their gratitude towards Valley Home Care’s hospice fund with a donation in honor of Amy and in memory of Marcia LaPoff.

The main goal of hospitalization is to restore health, whereas hospice care is focused only on providing support to the terminally ill patient. Understanding the differences between these two is extremely important as people reach the end of the lives, so they can make informed choices about how and where they spend their final days. 

Across the entire Valley Health System, there exists a very clear set of patient-centered aims: delivering the right care, in the right setting, at the right time.   

The Valley Home Care hospice staff are the community experts in improving the quality-of-life for patients facing life-threatening illnesses, and specialize in the prevention and relief of suffering.  Tina Basenese, R.N., MA, APN-C, ACHPN, Director of Valley Hospice, advocates for this program, saying “You shouldn’t visit a podiatrist for a broken hip, so why would you visit a cardiologist or an oncologist for palliative care?  The hospice nurses are trained specifically in this area of expertise, and it is the patient’s right to have access to this care.”   

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that among a select segment of patients, those who received palliative care lived, on average, almost two months longer than those who received standard care.  Researchers also found that the patients receiving palliative care reported a higher quality of life through the final course of their illness.

Caring for an elderly person can be emotionally challenging, frustrating and extremely time consuming. When her mother’s portable oxygen tank was running low, obtaining the replacement took Cathy multiple phone calls with the insurance company and a month before the replacement was delivered.  After Amy discovered the need for replacement tank, she was able to get it the very next day.

When Marcia was not well enough to venture out to her great granddaughter’s 3rd birthday in January, the family knew that her time was near.  The hospice team was there, communicating with the family members at each and every turn, and helped make this sad ordeal more tolerable.

Today, even though he is not under her care, Amy still visits Norman, a healthy 89 year old man living at Brightview, and always says he is one of her favorites.  “I feel good knowing Amy is always there for my dad, if he should need her,” Cathy smiles.  “She is a very, very special person.”

Norman LaPoff and Valley Home Care’s Community Health Nurse, Amy Law-Rydberg