Planning for the Future

The mission of Aria Hospice is to support our patients’ and their families’ choices, to guide them in their quest for a rewarding quality of life in the patients’ days and months on their final path.  We are here to support the bereaved by providing 13 months of bereavement service and professional, psychosocial, and spiritual support.

Phases of Family Adaptation When Facing Terminal Illness

No family that has lived with a terminal illness can emerge unchanged from the experience.  Some families may function better than before; others may experience changes that are destructive.  Some families achieve greater intimacy while in others long-dormant issues strain and split the family apart. The family as an organism will attempt to re-establish its equilibrium to maintain homeostasis.

planning for the future
  1. Phase One: The Preparatory Phase – Families begin to deal with the prospect of loss from the very beginning often with the first symptoms of the disease.  The most characteristic response at this stage is fear and denial.  Denying the seriousness of the disease allows family members to withhold information from those they consider to be vulnerable (i.e. children or elderly parents).  In this initial phase the family may be highly disorganized and may turn inward in the mistaken belief it will protect them.  In actuality this can be a destructive process that keeps the family away from sources of support and sharing their various feelings.
  2. Phase Two:  Living with Fatal Illness – Once the reality of the situation has occurred, the family moves into a period of “settling-in”.  Here the family faces the challenges of day-to-day handling of symptoms, treatments, and physical care.  This period can be noticeably short due to a quick death or can last for years.  Family members reorganize to assume new roles within the system and the business of caring for the patient.  In some cases, this can result in the neglect of other family members and to the family as a whole.  It is also a time when unresolved issues within the family rise to the surface.Anxiety in this stage is related primarily to the demands of care giving and the financial aspects of an illness.  Patients who feel useless and see themselves as a drain on the family will sometimes use finances as a way of maintaining some level of control.A common coping mechanism is to deny that there are any differences in temperament, emotions, and attitude among family members.  The family enters into an unspoken agreement in which they are in this together and must act and feel the same and pretend to be alike.
  3. Phase Three: Final Acceptance – This phase is usually the shortest and arrives when death is now becoming an actuality.  Hope for a cure is no longer an option although there may still be some denial.  Powerful emotions that arose in the first phase can resurface as they confront the immediate reality of the loss.  The family prepares as a whole to withstand this assault to its existence.  In healthy systems, families draw together and provide emotional support to each other.  However, in other cases, there will be a movement away from the family particularly if the patient was a central force in keeping the family together or there are deep unresolved issues among family members.
What We Can and Can’t Do

In Aria Hospice we will encounter families with problems of all kinds, and families with long histories of troubled relationships. There will be problems we cannot solve, but we can ease the burden of caring for the patient, thus strengthening the family so they themselves can cope with their life situations as they choose.

  • How does the hospice ensure comfort for the patient?
  • Is the hospice accredited by The Joint Commission for Accreditation of Healthcare Facilities?
  • Does the hospice have a reputation for integrity and quality service?
  • What special services are offered (e.g. massage therapy, Veteran’s care)?
  • What bereavement support does the hospice offer?
  • How does the hospice offer financial support?

We Listen. We Care. We Serve.

When you are faced with the challenge of finding a hospice provider to help care for the emotional and physical well being of someone you love, maybe your mom or dad, you will be faced with many questions.

Making the decision about hospice care for a loved one is never easy, but finding the right answers can help you feel more comfortable with the options available and confident in your final decision.

Aria Hospice operates hospice care programs throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties in Southern California. We pride ourselves on being one of the areas leading providers of end-of-life care.


Our Hospice Care Specialists are Here to Help

Call Us Today for Answers to End-of-Life Questions.


Anyone diagnosed with a limited life expectancy can receive Aria Hospice care.

Once a physician certifies that an illness is terminal, (a life expectancy of six months or less), they will collaborate with the Aria Hospice team for services, tailored to the needs and wishes of the patient.

Many patients have cancer, but Aria Hospice cares for individuals with many other life-limiting illness, including heart and lung disease, kidney disease, neurological disorders, stroke, Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Family and friends also receive the benefit of hospice care, to help them support the patient and adapt to changes in their lives.

Many people mistakenly believe that all hospice patients are bed-bound, critically ill, and unable to continue living life to the fullest. Hospice celebrates life and supports you in achieving your individual needs in this chapter of your life.

Contact our Admission Coordinator at Aria Hospice in San Diego County or Imperial County with any questions you may have about hospice care or eligibility.

who can receive hospice care


After receiving a diagnosis for limited life expectancy, patients must make an important choice about goals for their treatment.

why choose aria hospice care

When a physician determines that there is no curative treatment for a particular illness, the treatment is not helping any longer or you decide that the side effects of treatment are too great, you may consider choosing comfort care as your ultimate goal.

Aggressive medical treatment focuses on curing the physical illness rather than satisfying the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs. It often requires intensive care in a clinical setting that can diminish quality of life. Hospice care has the focus of comfort, by relieving pain and other symptoms, while continuing to address emotional and spiritual needs of both the patient and family.

Hospice care neither prolongs life nor hastens death, but relieves pain and physical discomfort so that the patient can experience a more peaceful and satisfying quality of life. At Aria Hospice, care is designed to primarily take place in the home or place of residence. Many families tell us that they waited too long to take full advantage of all the benefits offered by hospice care.


Our Team is Here to Help!

We are one of Southern California’s premier providers of end-of-life care. Click the button below to Request Information or call (619) 795-6010 to learn how hospice care can help.