Frequently Asked Questions
What is Hospice?
Hospice care is for those who are facing terminal illness. Patients are referred to hospice who have a prognosis of 6 months or less if the disease was to naturally take its course. Hospice is patient and family centered care and focuses on quality of life. Hospice of the North Coast provides care wherever you or your loved one calls home.
Is all hospice care the same?
No. Training, accreditation, certification, standards, and availability of volunteers and complementary therapies can vary widely. Hospice of the North Coast has an expectation that all nurses are hospice certified. When considering hospice care, ask questions, review literature, resources and the experience and reputation of the hospice providers available.
How is Hospice of the North Coast different?
We are a local non-profit hospice organization and accredited by The Joint Commission. Because we have a well-defined service area, our response time is one hour for current patients and two hours for new referrals. We have registered nurses on call 24/7. Our low staff-to-patient ratio ensures warm, personal care that is customized to patient and family wishes with a focus on pain and symptom relief. Hospice medications and medical equipment are delivered directly to the patient’s home.
Pacifica House, North County’s first and only hospice house, is a part of Hospice of the North Coast. Pacifica House provides acute symptom management in a home-like environment with round-the-clock registered hospice nurses. Special therapies offered include: massage, music therapy, pet therapy, reiki and aroma therapy.
Isn't hospice giving up?
No. Hospice is patient-centered care that emphasizes comfort, peace and quality of life. Hospice care is built on the belief that every day of life matters. Hospice care helps patients facing a life-limiting illness live his/her remaining days with comfort and dignity.
What is palliative care and why can't my regular doctor provide it?
Where curative care works to treat a disease, palliative care works to relieve pain and other distressing symptoms. Our palliative care physicians are specially trained in the interventions that provide pain and symptom relief. Using a combination of medications, counseling and therapies specific to each individual patient, palliative care experts can help most patients find an optimal level of comfort.
Are the patient’s primary care physicians able to be Palliative physicians?
Palliative care physicians are specially trained in comfort care. They work with patients and the patients’ doctors to guide the plan of care. The palliative physician will also make home visits which most physicians do not. A nurse practitioner is available to visit in your home to provide a baseline assessment. Patients as well as family caregivers are the focus of the palliative care team. Palliative Care teams operate within hospitals or healthcare systems. A few teams deliver care from a clinic or a doctor’s office. Palliative care is provided on an as-needed basis.