Hospice East Bay
Hospice East Bay is a pioneer hospice established in 1977 by community volunteers to create support for patients who wanted to die at home. In the 40 years since then, Hospice East Bay has been privileged to serve more than 25,000 patients and their families. Their mission is to care for patients through the end of life, easing fear and suffering, while also ensuring that patients and families retain dignity and control over their personal choices.
Hospice East Bay has grown to include many programs and services. In addition to hospice care, they offer palliative care, inpatient hospice care, and grief support for the entire community. Volunteers are integral to the success of these programs. Also, their development team is deeply involved in the community with dozens of annual events and partnerships. Finally, they operate a chain of thrift “Shoppes” throughout Contra Costa County which raise funds to support their work.
The focus of hospice care is to ensure the comfort of every patient during their final stages of life, while also supporting their family through and after the death. Hospice focuses on relieving pain, managing other complex symptoms and offering consistent emotional, spiritual and practical support. Hospice also makes it possible for patients to retain control over their medical and personal choices. An interdisciplinary team provides care in the comfort, privacy and familiarity of home.
As a community-based organization, Hospice East Bay is able to provide support beyond the Medicare benefit to ensure that patients and families have all their medical and social needs met. Hospice care is provided in the patient’s home, which may be his or her own home, that of a friend or relative, a skilled skilled-nursing facility, residential care, or assisted living facility—or at their Bruns House hospice facility. Most importantly, Hospice East Bay accepts all medically qualified patients, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.
People with advanced illnesses have specialized needs and often fall between traditional home health services and hospice care. The palliative care program focuses on the relief of symptoms and suffering related to a life-limiting, chronic illness. Palliative care gives these individuals much much-needed assistance in navigating the complicated health care system and offers the option of staying at home rather than going into the hospital. The palliative care team develops a plan for care that involves all of the patient’s doctors and services, while ensuring that their needs and wishes are being met.
Bruns House, opened by Hospice East Bay in 2004, is the only licensed inpatient hospice facility in the Bay Area. At Bruns House, patients experience the privacy and quiet that cannot be achieved in a hospital and the constant monitoring and treatments that cannot be provided at home. Since opening, Bruns House has been the scene of many special moments for patients and families, including marriage and citizenship ceremonies, visits by beloved pets, and many family reunions.
Hospice East Bay’s bereavement program offers grief support to all hospice families for 13 months following a death. They also provide anticipatory grief counseling as needed. The bereavement program includes individual support from a trained volunteer or individual therapy with a bereavement counselor, as well as group support. They offer support groups, classes and workshops throughout the year in their Pleasant Hill and Brentwood facilities, as well as educational training and support at local school districts. Our The Bridge program supports grieving children and teens through art, play, talk and peer support. The Bridge uses a peer-based support model which relies on sharing between participants with similar experiences to help children understand that they are not alone. Families may attend for as long as needed.
Volunteers founded Hospice East Bay in 1977 and remain valued, indispensable contributors to their success today. Patient support volunteers are highly trained to provide companionship and support to patients, offer respite time to caregivers, do light housekeeping, run errands, and provide transportation to medical appointments. Specialized patient support volunteers provide a variety of services, such as massage therapy, hair care, or handyman work.
Hospice East Bay’s volunteer department also manages several specialized programs: Vigil Volunteers work at the bedside of actively dying patients to ensure that they are not alone; Tuck-In volunteers check in with each patient and family every Thursday to make sure they have medications, supplies and equipment required for the weekend; Pet Pal volunteers and their certified pets visit patients to offer companionship and comfort; Music & Memory volunteers deliver personalized music to patients with moderate to severe dementia.
As a community-based, non-profit hospice, Hospice East Bay relies on the generosity of donors to help provide the services that set them apart from other hospice organizations. They are blessed to have many individuals, community organizations and companies support them through events, sponsorships, donations, and estate planning. Their development team works diligently to build and strengthen these relationships in the community.
Since its founding four decades ago, Hospice East Bay has provided compassionate end-of-life care for our community and hopes to continue doing so for another forty 40 years!