Hospice of the Foothills
11270 Rough and Ready Hwy
Grass Valley, CA, 95945
Hospice of the Foothills was founded in 1979 by a group of volunteers with the goal of developing a program which would meet the unique needs of terminally ill patients and their families.
The philosophy that guided the first board of directors was to develop a broad base of community involvement and support for the Hospice program. The original philosophy continues to guide us today and makes Hospice volunteers and donors an integral part of our organization.
The Hospice program was based on three fundamental objectives:
• Help those with life limiting illness to live with dignity, serenity and comfort
• Support the patient and their families through the time of death
• Continue to support the bereaved family after the loss of a loved one
Today, we still follow these objectives in designing our programs and setting our goals.
For many years Hospice of the Foothills was primarily a volunteer based organization with part time nurses and social workers. In 1994 the Board voted to become Medicare certified and State licensed and this lead to the growth we are still experiencing today.
Hospice provides a wide range of patient services at no cost to the patient or family:
Pain and symptom management
Our Medical Director and nursing staff work closely with patients, their families and their attending physicians to control pain and alleviate any other symptoms.
Hospice spiritual counselors help patients and family members with any spiritual issues that might arise during this difficult time.
Home health aides help with bathing and personal care for patients.
Hospice provides prescription medications necessary for symptom management and pain relief as they relate to the terminal illness, at no cost to the patient.
Hospice social workers help with end of life tasks, financial issues, and final arrangements.
Family members can continue to rely on Hospice for support and counseling after their loved one has died.
Detailed List of Hospice Services
- Skilled nursing care as directed by the attending physician
- Pain and symptom management
- All prescription medications necessary for symptom management and pain relief as related to the life limiting illness
- Help with personal care and bathing
- On call nursing support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- On call social worker, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Emotional and spiritual counseling and support
- Assistance with end-of-life tasks including final arrangements
- Trained volunteers to relieve caregivers and provide professional services such as massage or hair styling
- Education for family and caregivers in end-of-life care
- Physical and occupational therapy to assess the living environment and recommend any necessary changes
- Dietary counseling
- Durable medical equipment
- Hospitalization for symptoms that are unmanageable at home (in conjunction with Medicare or Medi-Cal)
- Hospitalization for short term care giver respite (in conjunction with Medicare or Medi-Cal)
- Bereavement support for one year following the death
- On going bereavement support groups for any family member
- Bereavement support groups focused exclusively on children
Health Care Providers
As a health care provider your focus is to keep your patients well and healthy through out their entire lives. Inevitably, some of your patients’ lives will come to an end. As their health care provider you will have to help them through this final transition.
An AMA Public Opinion Survey found that 74% of Americans expect their physicians to be confident and competent to provide them with care should they develop a life threatening illness.
A Gallup study found that while 90% of the respondents expressed a wish to die at home, in reality 80% of Americans die in an institutional setting.
Health care providers receive little formal education in end of life care and consequently such care is introduced too late to be fully effective. Hospice would like to share with you some tools to help relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for all those living with, or dying of, a life limiting disease. These resources can help you better understand end of life care and what you can do to help your patients with this last transition.
Some of the major questions physicians face when treating a terminally ill patient are:
• When is it time to refer the patient to Hospice?
• How do you make a Hospice referral without taking away hope?
When is it time to refer a patient to Hospice?
To be eligible for Hospice care a patient must meet the following criteria:
• They have a prognosis of 6 months or less if the disease runs its normal course
• The patient has stopped curative treatment and they desire palliative care
• There is a qualifying functional decline
• It is often difficult to state with certainty that there is a 6 month prognosis. In many cases it is helps to focus on patient’s functional decline as the guideline for referring patients to Hospice.