All Hospices Are NOT The Same

June 7, 2016

Did you know hospice is a philosophy of care rather than a place? It’s not uncommon for people to think that all hospices are connected, but hospices from town-to-town and state-to- state are different entities.  Some are ‘for profit’, corporate run enterprises.  Others, like Hospice of the Foothills, are nonprofit organizations with a grass roots history in the community.

In October of 2014, Consumer Reports ran an article entitled “How to Find a Good Hospice Program.” The article advises readers to be wary since more than half of U.S. hospice programs are for-profit.  It then goes on to detail what to look for in a hospice:

  • Not-for-profit status and more than 20 years of experience. (Hospice of the Foothills was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1979).
  • Hospice-certified nurses and doctors on staff available 24 hours a day. (Hospice of the Foothills’ interdisciplinary team of hospice trained nurses, social workers, spiritual counselors, hospice aides and physical therapists is led by a Medical Director who is board certified in both Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine).
  • Palliative-care consultants who can begin care if you’re not yet ready for hospice. (Hospice of the Foothills offers a fully staffed Transitions Program for people who have been diagnosed with a life limiting illness and has a prognosis of one year or less).
  • Ability to provide care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. (Hospice of the Foothills serves nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Placer and Western Nevada Counties).
  • Social Workers and Chaplains. (Hospice of the Foothills’ spiritual counselors support patients and family members with any spiritual issues that might arise during this difficult time. Five medical social workers with master’s degrees provide assistance with end of life tasks, financial issues, and final arrangements).
  • Medicare approval. (Hospice of the Foothills is fully Medicare approved and certified).

At Hospice of the Foothills, our care teams are experts in providing high quality end-of-life care. Plans of care are individualized to each patient and family to ensure the needs of the whole family unit are addressed.  This may include volunteers to help with errands or provide respite time for family members.  Other things to consider are what programs and services are offered and whether they’re provided locally, such as patient and family education and bereavement support groups.  With over 37 years of experience, Hospice of the Foothills is uniquely able to draw upon the knowledge gained from serving thousands of patients and families in our community.  Hospice of the Foothills’ programs and services are all offered locally to meet the unique needs of our community’s terminally ill patients by providing continuous care and support through the patient’s death and the family’s bereavement period.

At Hospice of the Foothills we believe that every moment matters. If you have any questions or concerns about hospice care, or whether hospice is right for you or your loved one, please call us today at 530.272.5739.

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