FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Isn’t hospice care just for people with cancer?
No. We help adults with any type of life-limiting illness. About 60% of Hospice Services of Lake County patients do not have cancer, but other life-limiting conditions such as heart disease, lung diseases, liver disease and others.

Who can refer patients to hospice?
Anyone can request a no-cost, no-obligation, confidential evaluation or informational visit from Hospice Services of Lake County, whether the patient lives in a private home or a care facility. Typically a form must be signed by the patient’s primary doctor to receive services. Hospice can contact the patient’s physician directly.

Can I keep my own doctor?
Yes. Patients may keep their personal doctors while under our care. Hospice coordinates care with the primary physician who continues to follow the patient.

Who pays for hospice?
Hospice care is paid by Medicare, Medi-Cal, the Veteran’s Administration (VA), private health insurance, personal payments, grant funding and financial support from our community.

What ages does Hospice Services of Lake County serve?
We provide care for adults aged 18 years and older.

When is the right time to call Hospice Services of Lake County?
If you or a loved one has a terminal illness, it is appropriate to consider all care options, including hospice. Hospice Services of Lake County will answer your questions over the phone and can send a nurse to your home for a free, confidential informational visit. The decision to choose hospice care belongs primarily to the patient. Patients and their loved ones receive the most benefit from hospice if they choose to begin services as soon as possible. Our medical director confirms that once patients and families experience hospice services they wish they had called sooner.

Why should I receive hospice services sooner than later?
When you are ill, it is extremely reassuring to be able to consult with, and be monitored by, people who are familiar with your illness, the course it will probably take, and the ways in which you and your loved ones will be affected. Our staff will respect you and your values while making you comfortable, easing your mind and being available at all times to answer your questions. Your caregivers and loved ones can be reassured, and assisted in your care as they work to cope with the significant emotional and practical effects that the illness has on them. Nothing is gained by waiting to access these valuable services.

Is Hospice Services of Lake County going to come in, take over and make decisions?
No. Our care teams work together with patients, their loved ones, and doctors. Our services reflect the patient’s and/or loved ones’ expressed desire and need for skilled care that helps them achieve maximum quality of life.

Who is on the Hospice Services of Lake County care team?
Our care teams may include registered nurses, nurse practitioners, licensed vocational nurses, medical social workers, aides, registered dieticians, physical, occupational and speech therapists, spiritual caregivers, bereavement counselors, trained volunteers and others, all under the direction of our Hospice Medical Director.

Where are patients cared for?
Hospice Services of Lake County cares for patients in their homes, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities or wherever a patient calls home.

Have you had patients for more than six months?
Yes. Your doctor will make a good-faith estimate of your life expectancy, which must be less than six months for you to be admitted to Hospice. That estimate is based on the disease following an expected course. It may be that you will do better than expected, in which case your care will be extended.

What help is available for caregivers and loved ones?
To confidently care for you, caregivers and loved ones need training and consistent support from us. It is our job to teach them to recognize changes in your condition, and to know when to call us for assistance, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week (by phone or with a visit from your nurse). Each visit from a member of our care team represents an opportunity to listen to the needs of caregivers and loved ones, as well as patients, and to adjust services accordingly.

What help is available for people who are grieving?
Hospice Services of Lake County offers general bereavement groups, one-on-one counseling, family and children bereavement camps, art therapy groups and customized bereavement groups to the families and loved ones of its patients. The bereavement program continues for up to 13 months following the death of a loved one.