About Us & Our Services

Hospice_Sign

Hospice of Humboldt was founded in 1978 by a small group of volunteers: Dr. Larry Hill, Jay Rezzonico, Dr. Elmer Larsen, Arlene Brazeau, RN and Margaret Soderberg, RN. We saw our first patient in January, 1979.

Hospice of Humboldt is a stand-alone non-profit, not affiliated with any hospital or medical practice. We are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and all donations to Hospice of Humboldt are tax deductible.

Our Services

Even before a referral is made, we can help families with end of life planning and evaluation of patients. Call us to schedule an Information Visit – we can help you think through options for yourself or a loved one. There is no cost or obligation for Information Visits.

Once a patient with a terminal illness is enrolled in Hospice, we offer a full range of medical and supportive services provided by an interdisciplinary team. Team members collaborate with each other to design and continually modify a Plan of Care to meet the ongoing needs of each patient, his or her caregivers and families or friends.

Hospice neither prolongs life with artificial means, nor hastens death. We just keep the patient comfortable and let nature take its course. For the truth about some common misconceptions about Hospice, click here.

Our Interdisciplinary Team

  • Our Medical Director, Dr. John Nelson, supervises all medical services, coordinating care with the patient’s own physician.
  • Hospice certified Registered Nurses care for the patient at home so the patient is free of pain or uncomfortable symptoms. They teach the patient’s caregivers what to expect as the disease progresses.
  • Registered Nurses are available 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency.
  • Medical Social Workers provide emotional support and counseling to the patient and family, and help them cope with all of the social, financial, and practical issues that arise at this time. They can also make referrals to other social service agencies if necessary.
  • Chaplains provide non-denominational spiritual support and counseling and help the patient and family come to terms with the situation. Our Chaplains can provide or arrange for specific religious rites or services, if requested. They can also conduct funerals and memorial services.
  • Certified Home Health Aides provide personal care for the patient, such as bathing.
  • Patient care volunteers provide companionship to the patient and respite for caregivers.

Who is Eligible for Hospice Services?

Hospice care is available to all, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. Patients of any age are accepted, and with any terminal condition, including debility and dementia. Patients may receive care at home, or in a residential care facility or skilled nursing facility located within a 50 mile radius of the city of Eureka.

When to Call Hospice

A physician can make a referral to Hospice but a doctor’s referral is not necessary. Anyone can call Hospice directly and ask for an Information Visit. Call us at 707-445-8443 for an appointment.

Call us if you are not sure if a family member is ready for hospice care. Just ask for a free evaluation. If requested, our Medical Director can also discuss the situation with the patient’s primary physician.

Call us when a loved one is nearing the end of life. An Information Visit or evaluation is appropriate if the patient

  • has a terminal illness, or
  • has had two or more hospitalizations for a chronic condition in the past year, or
  • is eating less, sleeping more, withdrawing from social interactions, and getting progressively weaker.

How is Hospice Paid?

Hospice services are paid for with the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medi-Cal Hospice Benefit and most types of private insurance, including Blue Cross and the VA. Those with no health insurance may pay for our services themselves. The fees are based on a sliding fee schedule which takes into account the family income. All patients receive exactly the same services, regardless of how they pay for our services and regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or national origin.

The Hospice Benefit covers

  • All medical care and nursing services
  • Home Health Aide services
  • Services of Medical Social Workers, Chaplains and patient care volunteers
  • All medications related to the terminal condition
  • All medical equipment, such as an electric bed, oxygen, or wheelchair, related to the terminal condition
  • Grief Support services