February 2, 2017

The Most Important Things to Look for When Choosing a Hospice

As you and your loved one face this critical juncture in life’s journey, choosing the right hospice may be one of the most loving things you can do for one another. Although it might be difficult at first, it’s better to start the hospice conversation early. It gives you the opportunity to pause for a moment to reflect on where you are today and consider what the future may hold. This affords you the time and space to think, talk about and plan for what is meaningful and matters most to you and your loved ones before you are in the midst of a health crisis.

Before you choose an agency, it’s important to understand that hospice isn’t about dying; it’s about living life to the fullest with meaning, purpose, and the highest quality of life possible. With a good hospice, you’ll have confidence and peace of mind knowing your loved one is well cared for, allowing you to focus on making special memories and valuing the time you have with them.

The earlier you start the conversation about hospice care, the more prepared and confident you will be in choosing one that will care for your loved one as much as you do. When you begin researching hospice care, there are a few very important things to consider:

The People

When prospective patients, their loved ones, or even other healthcare professionals ask what makes LightBridge so special, our answer is always our people. Care and compassion permeate every aspect of our work. These are values everyone on our team embraces from our owners to administrative staff, our clinical professionals and volunteers. Whether a team member is providing direct care, making sure you receive the right equipment and medication, or helping you with your insurance questions, we are passionate about the care and support we provide. We want each of our patients and their families to get to know our team just as much as we want to get to know you understanding that once we make that connection, our hearts and passion become transparent. An agency’s team is so closely tied to its reputation; the care it has for its patients will always be conveyed through its people.


Among the most important things you should consider when searching for the best hospice is its reputation. What are families and the community saying about its service and their experience with the hospice? What do medical professionals tell you about how the hospice has served the patients they’ve referred? There are many factors contributing to a hospice agency’s reputation, which is why it’s one of the fundamental considerations when choosing a hospice to care for your loved one.

Another important aspect of the agency’s reputation is their experience. How long have they been successfully providing hospice care in your community? This, in itself, is not necessarily a trustworthy indicator of a hospice agency’s reputation or quality of service, but it can highlight the company’s stability. 

Transparency through public reporting is an increasingly important focus in today’s healthcare system. Resources are already available and many more are just around the corner to ensure consumers have access to information about the quality and stability of all hospice providers. A reputable hospice agency won’t mind to help direct you to those resources.

Mission or Philosophy

An agency’s mission is its guiding light as it cares for its patients. Is the mission or philosophy of the hospice well defined? Are its values aligned with yours? What matters to you in life should drive how you select a hospice, and the values of the hospice should be clearly found in its mission and approach. A reputable hospice, like LightBridge, will work with you to make sure what matters to you and your loved one will remain a priority until the very end.

Special Programs and Certifications

Is the hospice accredited by one of the nationally recognized organizations? Does the hospice offer any additional special programs or certifications? A hospice that cares will make a commitment to constantly improve. At LightBridge, we’re always looking for ways to improve and bring a higher quality of care and a breadth of services to our patients. One of the ways we do this is through our special programs and accreditation. From our inception, we have earned and maintained accreditation by The Joint Commission, an organization that sets health care quality standards in America, and evaluates the quality and safety of care for more than 18,000 health care organizations worldwide. 

We are the first hospice in California to earn the Level IV Partner Accreditation for the nationally-acclaimed We Honor Veterans program and we made a commitment to our veterans even before we learned that national initiative had been created by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization. We also have certifications in dementia care and the nationally accredited Music & Memory program. We believe our developing programs and evolving approaches make a statement about our commitment to quality and our ability to provide deeper, broader, and more personalized care to our patients. 

At LightBridge, our fondest priority is empowering the families, loved ones, and caregivers of our patients. We offer incredible support in every way possible, so they can focus on creating special moments and everlasting memories as they walk this journey. If you have any questions about hospice care or want to get to know us a little better, contact LightBridge by visiting us online or calling our office at (858) 458-2992.

By: Pamela Hough, Senior Vice President of Operations/Administrator