Frequently Asked Questions

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 patients?

Hospice is appropriate for many end-stage terminal diagnoses including cancer, AIDS, ALS, heart disease, respiratory and lung disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

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.

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 patient.

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.

Do you have more questions? Please visit our CONTACT US page to submit your questions or give us a call at (209) 223-5500.