Bill* has been caring for his wife, Laura*, who was diagnosed with dementia five years ago. Laura is now at the point where it is not safe for her to be left alone. Bill cannot take a break from caregiving and has no time to take care of his medical needs.  

Laura's neurologist referred a palliative care evaluation for in-home medical attention. Her social worker encouraged Bill to call Hospice SLO County and speak to the care manager. Bill was hesitant because the name hospice in his mind meant end-of-life. He called anyway and spoke to the care manager.  

Bill's concerns were put to rest when he found out 

  1. He could get respite from a trained and background-checked Hospice SLO County volunteer who would keep Laura safe. 
  2. He was able to have the care manager help him access other community sources of care.

Since working with Hospice SLO County, Bill has been able to have 8 hours of respite a week, free of charge, between Hospice SLO County and other agencies in the area. He can now attend to his medical needs and take a weekly walk at the beach. 

Bill joined Hospice SLO County's Caregiver Support Group which meets every Friday afternoon by Zoom. He is so happy that he does not need to leave Laura to attend. By connecting with others who are also family caregivers, Bill has learned some great ideas and workarounds to ease the burden of caregiving. The care manager follows up with him monthly to discuss resources or changes in Laura’s care.

Bill is thankful for Hospice SLO County's services that were put into place without the burden and delay of proof of insurance or medical billing. He understands how lucky SLO County is to have a non-medical, volunteer hospice and community grief center offering services at no charge. 

*Names and photo changed to respect client's privacy.