The word "hospice" stems from the Latin word "hospitium" meaning guesthouse.

The word "hospice" stems from the Latin word "hospitium" meaning guesthouse. It was originally used to describe a place of shelter for weary and sick travelers returning from religious pilgrimages. During the 1960's, Dr. Cicely Saunders, a British physician, began the modern hospice movement by establishing St. Christopher's Hospice near London. St. Christopher's organized a team approach to professional caregiving, and was the first program to use modern pain management techniques to compassionately care for the dying. The first hospice in the United States was established in New Haven, Connecticut in 1974.


• Hospice is a special concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments.


• Hospice care neither prolongs life nor hastens death. Hospice staff and volunteers offer a specialized knowledge of medical care, including pain management.


• The goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of a patient's last days by offering comfort and dignity.


• Hospice care is provided by a team-oriented group of specially trained professionals, volunteers and family members.


• Hospice addresses all symptoms of a disease, with a special emphasis on controlling a patient's pain and discomfort.


• Hospice deals with the emotional, social and spiritual impact of the disease on the patient and the patient's family and friends.


• Hospice offers a variety of bereavement and counseling services to families before and after a patient's death.



The goal at Hillcrest Hospice is to keep you comfortable and improve your quality of life during the remainder of your days. This philosophy is a shift from usual medical treatments, in which health professionals strive to cure your disease. Hospice services are not intended to speed up or prolong the dying process, but focus instead on relieving pain and other symptoms. Hillcrest Hospice caregivers are concerned with enhancing the quality of remaining life by keeping you as alert and comfortable as possible in a familiar environment with family and friends.


We offer services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in your own home, in a nursing homes, long-term care facility, or hospital.



You or your loved one may be eligible for Hospice care if:


• Your condition is considered incurable. This is called a terminal illness.


• Your doctor has indicated that your life expectancy is 6 months or less if your illness runs its normal course. Usually a form must be signed by your primary doctor as well as the medical   director or physician member of a hospice team


It can be hard for doctors to know how long a person will live. Some people live longer than expected. If you live longer than 6 months, you can continue on hospice. If your illness gets better, you can stop receiving hospice care.


Hillcrest Hospice does not discriminate. Care is provided regardless of age, sex, religion, diagnosis or type of health problem, ethnic or cultural background, sexual orientation, or ability to pay.


Payment for hospice services is covered through Medicare and most Medicaid programs. Most private insurance companies offer a hospice benefit.


If you need help determining if Hospice is a covered benefit in your health plan, please do not hesitate to contact us and a member of our staff will be happy to verify eligibility for you or your loved one.




Looking for more information, let us know.

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Bakersfield Community Hospice is a

Joint Commission Accredited Organization












Gold Seal of Approval