Hospice is a philosophy of care for people nearing the
end of their lives, where the emphasis is on comfort
care rather than curative treatment.
Hospice care combines pain and symptom management with
practical and emotional support in the comfort of the
patient’s home. Hospice services are also available at
area skilled nursing and residential care facilities.
Hospice of Amador & Calaveras Brochure
Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose Hospice care?
While the primary goal of healthcare is to cure disease,
there are times when this is no longer possible. When
the focus of care shifts from cure to comfort, hospice
offers the expert medical care and human compassion
needed by most patients and their families. As pain is
relieved and symptoms kept under control, a patient is
better able to participate in daily life at home with
family and friends
Who qualifies for Hospice care?
A person diagnosed by a licensed physician as having an
advanced disease with a life-limited expectancy.
Referrals to Hospice of Amador & Calaveras may come from anyone, but
the patient's consent and attending physician's
authorization are required for admission.
What kinds of illness? Does hospice only care for cancer
Hospice is appropriate for many end-stage terminal
diagnoses including cancer, AIDS, ALS, heart disease,
respiratory and lung disease and Alzheimer's disease.
What does hospice provide?
Each patient and their family have different
expectations of hospice and needs, so what hospice
provides can be quite varied. Some of the services we
visits from nurses, home health aides, and
other Hospice staff
Consultation visits and timely evaluations
24-hour, seven-day availability of a hospice
nurse, and a physician
Emotional and spiritual support
Assistance with practical needs
Grief support for 13 months for surviving
family members and significant others,
Education and support materials
Telephone contact at regular intervals
Specialized support groups for children,
adolescents and adults
Visits by Hospice of Amador & Calaveras social workers and/or
referral to appropriate
community resources as needed
How are referrals made?
Normally, the patient’s doctor makes the prognosis that
the patient has less than six months to live and refers
the family to hospice. If a patient or family feels that
hospice would be appropriate, they can contact Hospice
of Amador & Calaveras directly at 209-223-5500, and we will consult
with their doctor.
What happens after a referral is made?
Once Hospice of Amador & Calaveras obtains an order from the
patient's physician for hospice care, a call is made to
the family to assess their needs and explain hospice
services. An appointment is then made with the patient
and family. A nurse visits the patient and family
members and provides in-depth information on what can be
expected. Once the patient is admitted into hospice
care, members of the hospice team (nurse, social worker,
home health aid, chaplain and volunteers) schedule
visits as needed to make sure the patient is comfortable
and the family is supported.
Who pays for hospice care?
Medicare, Medi-Cal, most insurance companies and HMO’s
cover hospice care. In addition, Hospice of Amador
& Calaveras receives financial support from the community, United
Way, proceeds from our thrift stores, fundraisers and
individual donations – which allow us to provide care
even when the patient cannot pay.
Will someone from hospice be here all the time?
Hospice does not provide routine around-the-clock care.
However, Hospice staff teach the caregivers how to care
for the patient, and Hospice provides intermittent
nursing visits and 24-hour telephone access to nursing
staff for information, support and visits if needed. The
intensity and frequency of nursing care can be
increased, depending on the medical needs of the
Can I keep my personal physician under hospice care?
Hospice of Amador & Calaveras encourages your primary physician to
be part of the interdisciplinary team. Hospice
supplements rather than replaces your physician. Hospice
works with physicians to support patient needs.
When is the right time to call?
If you’re wondering about the right time to begin
hospice care, now is the right time to call. So often,
we hear families express how they wish they had called
sooner. Calling isn’t a commitment, only an opportunity
to become educated and better prepared.
Is it true that I can’t have hospice until I am finished
with all treatment?
Hospice accepts patients who are receiving, or may
receive, palliative or “comfort” treatment. Each patient
situation is considered and evaluated on an individual
basis by the Hospice team.
The Hospice Team
Hospice of Amador & Calaveras provides services under a plan of care
developed by a team of caring professionals and
volunteers in conjunction with the desires of the
patient and his or her caregiver, and approved by the
Here are some of the ways the team provides help:
- Nurses –
Coordinate the individualized care plan and
provide treatment to help manage pain and
- Medical Director – A doctor who assists in symptom
management and is available to consult with the
attending physician or other Hospice staff.
- Social workers – Provide emotional support and
counseling to patients and family members and
participate in family conferences. They make
referrals to community resources and assist
with practical, legal and financial matters.
- Home health
aides – Assist with personal care including
bathing and light housekeeping services.
- Chaplain –
Assists in identifying spiritual concerns,
providing personal support and making referrals to the
community of faith.
– Trained compassionate volunteers provide
companionship, transportation and emotional
support, and communicate patient and family
needs to hospice staff.
- Grief support staff
– Supports the family throughout the
first year after the death and offers grief education