Frequently Asked Questions About Sharp HospiceCare
Getting the answers you need.
We understand that you and your loved ones have many concerns during this time. Below we hope to answer some of the questions you may have about our hospice care services.
Our commitment to you.
All of us at Sharp HospiceCare want you to be completely satisfied with the care we provide. Our goal is to support you and to exceed your expectations. We encourage you, at anytime, to let us know how we're doing, so we can provide you with the exceptional care and service you deserve.
What is Sharp HospiceCare?
Founded in 1992, Sharp HospiceCare is a nonprofit organization that serves San Diego County patients and their families facing terminal illness. Since we are a branch of Sharp HealthCare, you or your loved one are able to maintain personal physician relationships and continue to receive their support. We provide care in any setting you or your loved one choose to reside — at home, a skilled nursing facility or a hospital.
We offer special services to support and care for people in the final phase of a terminal illness by focusing on relief measures rather than curative treatment. Under the direction of a physician, we use sophisticated methods of pain and symptom control that enable you to live as fully and comfortably as possible. We treat you, not the disease.
What are hospice residences?
An added benefit of the Sharp HospiceCare experience is our hospice innovative living environments — LakeView, ParkView and BonitaView. The only residences of their kind in San Diego County, these facilities operate solely to provide emotional, physical and spiritual care and support to patients and their loved ones at the end of life. The houses are staffed 24 hours a day by registered nurses, and offer private rooms, spacious living areas and comfort.
Who is eligible for hospice?
Hospice services are available to anyone with life-limiting medical conditions. In order for you to receive hospice care, a physician will need to certify that you have a terminal illness with an anticipated life expectancy of six months or less. Before enrolling in hospice, you or your legal designee must provide written informed consent indicating an understanding of the hospice philosophy and services, and that you choose to receive hospice care.
Who pays for hospice?
Reimbursement for hospice services is usually covered by Medicare, Medi-Cal, private insurance or charity care. Sharp HospiceCare accepts you based on your health needs, not on your ability to pay. Hospice services are paid for if they are related to the terminal illness.
What services are covered under hospice?
Hospice provides services directly related to caring for terminal illness, including:
- Grief counseling for immediate family and significant others
- Home-health aides and homemaker services
- Inpatient care
- Medical social services
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Physician and nursing services
- Respite care
- Spiritual care
How long will I live?
This information usually comes first from your physician, who is familiar with your health history and current condition.
Your hospice team understands that a life-threatening illness can present many difficult challenges and concerns, and can provide information concerning the physical and mental changes you may expect to see in the near future.
How often will hospice visit?
We understand that you and your loved ones have very special needs during this time, and we are committed to meeting the level of care you need. Hospice care focuses on helping you achieve comfort and quality of life. Your hospice team will discuss and plan with you how frequently you will need visits.
Initial visits from your team may last one to two hours while they explain our services and work with you to establish your individual plan of care. Follow-up visits are usually 30 to 60 minutes. And at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a hospice nurse is just a phone call away at 619-667-1900.
What does spiritual care have to do with hospice?
Spiritual care services are available to our patients and their families throughout the entire hospice experience.
Our chaplains work within all religious and spiritual belief systems, and provide spiritual care to individuals who do not identify with any specific religion. Our Spiritual Care Department is a source of spiritual and emotional companionship, guidance and comfort.
What can volunteers do, and when are they available?
Volunteers are an integral part of the support we provide. Their services include caregiver support, companionship, social activities, reading and letter writing, as well as assisting families with errands, light housekeeping and transportation. While all volunteers are screened and trained prior to joining the team, they are not medical personnel and are unable to provide hands-on medical care or dispense medication. Scheduling of volunteer visits is established on an individual basis to best meet the needs of you and your family.
How can bereavement services help us?
No one has to grieve alone. Our bereavement department is here to ease your burden and make grief a little less lonely, confusing and frightening. Our skilled mental-health professionals specialize in grief education and support. We offer individual and family counseling, routine telephone contact, support groups and a monthly mailing program — plus community education and referral resources. These services are free of charge and are available to families for up to 13 months after a loved one has passed, although participation in support groups can extend beyond this time frame.
We are committed to providing a safe, supportive and confidential environment to help you and your family cope. Bereavement counseling services are provided in our hospice office in La Mesa. For those who are unable to come to our office, home visits may be available.
How do I know if my child is dealing well with losing a loved one, and how can hospice help?
If a child is old enough to love, he or she is old enough to grieve. Sharp HospiceCare counselors are trained to recognize behaviors that indicate how well children are coping with grief. They work with the parent(s) to determine the most appropriate form of support, whether it is individual, family and/or group counseling.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses, and provides relief from related symptoms, pain and stress. At Sharp, our team of doctors, nurses and other specialists work together to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care can be provided at any age and at any stage of a serious illness, together with curative treatment if desired.
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