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MemorialCare Hospice & Palliative Services provides services that improve quality of life for those facing death, loss and grief by promoting hope, compassion and comfort.

Hospice Services

  • Medications that relate to the terminal illness.
  • Respite care.
  • Bereavement support for 13 months.
  • Nutritional consultation.
  • Other therapies as the patient’s condition warrants.

The Hospice Care Team

A department of Saddleback Medical Center, MemorialCare Hospice & Palliative Services includes an interdisciplinary team of physicians, registered nurses, social workers, spiritual care counselors, home health aides and trained volunteers. These professionals provide physical, emotional and spiritual support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each team member plays a unique role in caring for our Hospice patients.

  • Our medical director collaborates with the patient’s personal physician to ensure pain and disease symptoms are managed effectively.
  • Registered nurses are educated to meet the needs of the terminally ill, including symptom control, through their honest and supportive approach.
  • Social workers provide emotional support, psychological counseling and assistance with financial and legal matters.
  • Spiritual counselors offer guidance and support throughout this challenging time.
  • Should the patient need assistance with grooming or household tasks, home health aides are available.
  • Volunteers provide companionship for the patient and respite for caregivers. They are local residents who are just a phone call away. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hospice?

Hospice is a home-centered philosophy that affirms life by making a person's final days meaningful. It focuses on providing palliative care to the terminally ill instead of curative measures. Hospice neither hastens nor promotes death, but eases the transition, comforting both the individual and the family.

Who is Eligible?

Patients with a six-month life expectancy are admitted to the hospice program regardless of age, sex, religion or disease. Service is also available to individuals with limited resources. For a patient to receive Hospice care, the attending physician—who continues to supervise care—must order the service.

Can a Patient be Discharged From Hospice?

Hospice services may be discontinued if a patient’s condition improves so that their prognosis is extended beyond six months. Discontinuance of Hospice care would also be appropriate if a patient chooses to pursue curative therapy.

Payment Methods

We accept Medicare and Medi-Cal (as payment in full); private insurance (coverage varies)/ HMOs and PPOs; and private pay. The Saddleback Memorial Foundation also provides funds for qualifying patients who meet financial criteria.

Patient Testimonials

Hospice Volunteer Opportunities

Our Hospice program has many volunteer opportunities in the Orange County area.  We are always looking for volunteers that can provide companion visits, provide hair cutting services, pet therapy services, play music and more! Our volunteers build close relationships with our Hospice patients and are an integral part of the care.  To be considered for a Hospice volunteer position you must meet the following criteria:

  • 18 years of age or above
  • Be ready and willing to commit to at least 12 months of volunteer service
  • Fill out a Hospice volunteer application
  • Pass background check
  • Attend Hospice volunteer orientation

For more information about Hospice volunteer opportunities, please contact us at (949) 452-3000.

In Lieu of Flowers – Wording for Funeral Announcements

As a thank you for the care loved ones received at our hospital, families sometimes ask guests to give to Saddleback Medical Center, a nonprofit hospital, in lieu of flowers. Below is sample wording that can be used on a funeral announcement or program:

In lieu of flowers, the [NAME] family requests a gift to MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center, which can be made through Saddleback Medical Center Foundation. Please designate your gift to: Area of Greatest Need or [Name of Fund].

  1. Online: - GIVE NOW.
    Select the Fund in the drop-down menu where you would like your gift to be designated.
    - Complete the tribute information on the form.
  2. Mail: Make check payable to Saddleback Medical Center Foundation, Gift Processing Center
    PO Box 2665, Seal Beach, CA 90740-1665. Write “In memory of [Name]” in the memo.
  3. Phone: Call the Foundation at (949) 452-3724 to provide credit card and tribute information.

If you can, please notify the Foundation that gifts in honor of your loved one may be arriving at (949) 452-3724 or smcf@memorialcare.org.

While memoriam gifts can be given year-round, Tree of Light tribute gifts can be made during the holiday season. Tree of Light donations directly benefit MemorialCare Hospice & Palliative Services and the names of those honored and remembered are listed in the Tree of Light Book of Remembrance displayed in the Gary and Mary Damsker Chapel through the first week of January.

Locations Offering Hospice Services