What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is a type of health care that focuses on the palliation of a terminally ill patient’s pain and symptoms and attending to the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient at the end of their life. Hospice care may be right for you or your loved one when living with a life-limiting illness that has a six-month life expectancy (if the disease runs its normal course).

Why Hospice Care in La Jolla?

There are a variety of advantages to hospice care. While the end of a patient’s life can be distressing, hospice care helps to ease this burden and provide peace of mind for the patient. The goal is to allow the patient to pass on with dignity, peace, comfort, and happiness.

For the loved ones of a patient, hospice care can be a blessing. Hospice care helps to ease the burden on the family—particularly the primary caregiver. Oftentimes, even with the best intentions, family members aren’t able to provide the level of care their loved one needs. Whether it be a lack of knowledge of how to provide care or simply a lack of time, the level of care may be less than optimal. A professional hospice caregiver is able to provide high-quality care—opening up more time for the primary caregiver to relax, get caught up, and enjoy their time with their loved one.

There are different forms of hospice care, which include both at-home and in-patient. While the type of care depends on the particular needs of the patient, more often than not hospice care is provided in the home of the patient. This allows them to receive care in comfortable and familiar surroundings.

At Comfort and Peace Hospice, we understand that passing on is a different experience for everyone. Each patient experiences the end in their own way. That is why we customize our approach for each and every patient. The goal is to ensure their emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual needs are met. We promise your loved one or you will pass on with dignity and comfort, under the best care available. We are dedicated to providing peace and serenity to every one of our patients.

Who is Hospice Care for?

Hospice care isn’t just for one type of illness. While many people think of cancer when they think of hospice care, it’s actually an option for people that are suffering from a variety of life-limiting illnesses. Many patients that would like a higher quality of life during the end may be candidates.

Comfort and Peace Hospice in La Jolla has an expert team of hospice care providers that are trained to help reduce any pain or discomfort a terminally ill patient may be experiencing. They know how to provide care for patients that are suffering from a variety of different illnesses. It is our mission to keep patients comfortable and happy until their final days.

Hospice care may be available to patients that have a terminal prognosis in which they only have around 6 months left to live. If a patient lives longer than those 6 months, they may still be eligible for hospice care and their stay may be extended.

Some common illnesses that patients suffer from that lead to the need for hospice care include:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Dementia
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Liver disease
  • Renal disease
  • Stroke
  • and others

If your loved one or you feel like hospice care is the right decision, speak with a physician. They can help to determine whether or not your loved one or you are a candidate. Many physicians will also recommend hospice care if they believe their patients would benefit from it. If this is the case, they will make the referral.

Keep in mind insurance or Medicare coverage may be a factor for hospice care. Check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered.

What to Expect

There are four levels of hospice care. The level of care is highly determined by the patients’ conditions. The physician and hospice nurse authorize the changes in level of care.

There’s no out of pocket expense and all medications & equipment related to the terminal diagnosis are covered.

The four levels of hospice care are:

Routine Home Care

Routine home care is provided by compassionate hospice professionals in the patient’s place of residence. The care is delivered by specially trained medical staff, spiritual and social work professionals and volunteers. Assistance with pain management, skilled nursing care and symptom management are provided. The interdisciplinary hospice team coordinates care with the patient and family.

Most patients, with the assistance of the hospice team, are able to remain in their place of residence, whether it is a private home, Assisted Livings or nursing home for the duration of their illness. If the patient lives in an Assisted Living or Nursing Home, the care delivered is in addition to the normal nursing and caregiving care provided by the facility with no out of pocket cost to the patient and family. The care is coordinated by our interdisciplinary hospice team in collaboration with the facility staff, the patient and the family.

We will collaborate with your primary caregivers to ensure the patient and family are comfortable and at peace.

Continuous Care

If the patient’s symptoms are out of control, continuous care will be initiated. Continuous care is provided by our hospice team for several hours a day, up to 24 hours a day, until the crisis is resolved. The hospice nurse will assist in determining when continuous care is needed.

  • Continuous Care is initiated when symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and respiratory distress are out of control and bedside support is necessary to control these symptoms.
  • We will be by your side irrespective of how long it takes to keep you or your loved one comfortable.
  • Continuous Care gives a higher level of support without having to relocate to a facility.
  • Once the patient has stabilized, we return to Routine Care.

General In-Patient Care

General InPatient Care is similar to Continuous Care. However, If the symptoms cannot be managed at home, we will care for the patient in a facility. During In-Patient Care we assess the patient daily and cover room and board as long as the patient requires this level of symptom management.

Once stabilized, our team transitions your loved one back to a routine level of care.

Respite Care

Respite care is available to the primary caregivers and family in need of rest from caring for the patient. There are several local nursing facilities, as well as private respite homes available for respite care. You or your loved one will be able to stay in one of our contracted facilities for up to five (5) days per benefit period, according to Medicare guidelines.

Respite Care is a short-term relief program designed to give the primary caregiver in need of rest an opportunity to tend to other concerns. Our team will relocate you or your loved one for up to 5 days and we cover room and board during this respite period.

  • Families choose respite care to “catch up” on life, attend important events (e.g. high school graduation, church events)
  • Caregivers often depend on respite care to get rest and recharge with peace of mind that their loved one is in good hands.
  • At the end of Respite Care, the patient is transferred to Routine Care in their place of residence.

What to Look for in a Hospice Care Provider in La Jolla

There are different hospice care providers to choose from and, because of this, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration to ensure you pick the perfect provider. Some things you should consider include:

  • Frequency. Patients have different needs, and the frequency of care you need will differ from another patient. The right provider will be able to provide the frequency of care you need.
  • Great Customer Service. Customer service is extremely important. From help with paperwork to a nice smile, the right hospice care provider will have a well-trained staff that provides the friendliest care and assistance possible.
  • Quick Response Time. There are times in which you may need immediate care. Find a hospice care provider with a quick response time.
  • Transition Assistance. Transitioning to hospice care can be tough. An excellent hospice care provider will ensure that the transition phase is simple and seamless.
  • On-Call Services. Make sure you choose a hospice provider that is available to meet your needs 24/7. An unplanned visit may be needed at any time. The right team will be available.
  • A Strong Staff. Every staff member should be experts at what they do. A better staff means better care and a better overall experience. Don’t settle for less than the best!

Music Therapy

Music therapy is an amazing service that Comfort and Peace Hospice provides our patients. This form of therapy is a lot of fun for patients, and it is backed by real clinical research. Music has a major impact on the brain. It is a multi-sensory experience that involves your ears, skin, and eyes. The ability to hear is one of the last senses dying patients are able to register. This is particularly the case when it comes to music.

There are a few different symptoms that music therapy can help with. These include:

  • Pain
  • Decrease brain function
  • Respiratory distress
  • Anxiety and Agitation
  • Grief
  • Depression
  • Stress

Music therapy also helps with:

  • Mood enhancement
  • Communication and expression
  • Spiritual support
  • Caregiver and family support
  • Legacy projects
  • Family bonding

Music has a strong impact on the brain, and it is a multi-sensory experience. This means it affects your ears, eyes, and skin. Because of this, music therapy can have a strong impact on your cognitive, emotional, and even physical wellbeing.

We Honor the Military and Our Veterans

At Comfort and Peace Hospice we are grateful to all our great military, our veterans and their families for the sacrifice they make for our beloved country. We are a proud member of the We Honor Veterans program. Our goal is to provide customized care that honors the individual and their service.

Some of our veteran care includes:

  • Assistance with VA and other military benefits
  • Assessment of military service
  • Honor ceremonies and events
  • Connection with VA services
  • Providing counseling and care that deals with service-related memories or issues
  • Assisting with military funeral and memorial services

How Long Can Someone Stay in Hospice Care in La Jolla, California?

The amount of time a patient is eligible for hospice care depends on a few factors. With that said, it’s generally expected that a patient will be in hospice care for around 6 months. If the terminally ill patient does not pass in that time, an extension beyond 6 months may be a possibility. Insurance or Medicaid will also factor in if a patient isn’t paying out-of-pocket.

We’re Here to Help!

The end of life can be a distressing time for a patient. Comfort and Peace Hospice is here to help. We understand the concerns of patients with life-limiting illness, and our staff does everything in their power to provide our patients with the highest level of care. Everyone deserves to pass on with peace and dignity. Because of this, we take care of the emotional, spiritual, psychological, and physical needs of our patients.

If you would like to learn more about how your loved one or you can benefit from hospice care, reach out to Comfort and Peace Hospice today!