Frequently Asked Questions

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Becoming a Resident

Who is eligible?

FAQsWe welcome men and women in the last weeks or days of their lives, including those receiving hospice services.

Eligibility takes into account the person’s medical condition and circumstances, our RCFE license, our experience and safety. There must be a person responsible for the resident’s care decisions and financial matters. We can’t admit residents with active infections, IVs, complex wounds or other RCFE-prohibited conditions. Read detailed admission criteria . . . 

Where is Caring House located?

We’re at 2842 El Dorado Street in Torrance, California. That’s in the City Hall and Madrona neighborhoods.  Location and parking details.

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Do you have a video tour? Can we tour in-person?

We have three videos. With them you can a look at house and neighborhood and learn about the Caring House experience from family members of past Caring House residents. View videos . . .

We are not able to provide in-person tours of the house at this time, due to safety concerns for our residents, staff and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is Caring House religious-affiliated?

No. We welcome and honor people from all cultures, spiritual backgrounds and traditions. And we welcome men and women without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age or and gender as long as they meet the admission criteria.

Do you have availability?

Availability of bedrooms changes frequently. We can often admit a resident on fairly short notice, but it’s best to discuss matters in advance of a possible need.
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Is Caring House the right place for me or my loved one?

Staying at home to receive care at the end of life is not always possible.

The choice of location depends on the person’s goals of care, medical condition, needs and circumstances.

  • Hospitals and skilled nursing homes are medical facilities. Caring House is a non-medical residential home.
  • Skilled nursing homes and most assisted living facilities (large or small) focus on long-term residents (two or more years). Caring House focuses on men and women in the last weeks and days of their lives.
  • See our report on potential South Bay living arrangements for end-of-life care.

Those who come to live at Caring House have, along with their doctors and loved ones, set goals of care focused on peace and comfort and quality of life rather than on a cure or aggressive treatments.

  • At Caring House, our focus and mission is end-of-life care for men and women in their last weeks or days of life.
  • Other homes provide end-of-life care as a secondary service. Their focus is long-term care.
  • When considering homes for end-of-life care, we suggest that families ask what percentage of a home’s residents have been on hospice in the last year. For Caring House, it’s 100%.

What does the admission process involve?

It involves collaboration among the potential resident and/or their family or friends, the Caring House admissions team, and the potential resident’s medical team (for example, a hospice serving the potential resident).

We encourage (but don’t require) residents and/or their family or friends to visit Caring House prior to admission. To expedite documentation, we often use fax and email.

We want to be sure that we can safely care for the potential resident and meet their care needs. If a potential resident is eligible (see “Who is eligible?” above) and the needed information is gathered and provided promptly, we can often admit within 24 hours.

We use an admissions pool approach (not “first-come, first-served”) for eligible potential residents. When a bedroom becomes available, if the physical care requirements of the men and women in the pool are equal, the team first offers the bedroom to the person who then has the greatest overall need.

We admit new residents on Monday through Saturday (excluding holidays). For the peace of our residents and the house, we normally admit at most one new resident per day.

Once we offer a bedroom to a resident, the resident and/or family complete the family packet of documents.

Can I receive hospice services while at Caring House?

Yes. We welcome residents who are using Medicare-certified hospice services. Hospice service teams offer medical care and pain and symptom management, as well as spiritual support, counseling and education. Hospice team members will visit those residents and provide vital support to them and their loved ones, in collaboration with our staff.

We’ve created a directory of Medicare-certified hospices known to us to serve patients in or near our South Bay area. We’ve noted whether they have already served one or more residents at Caring House. Before helping residents, a hospice enters into a care coordination agreement with Caring House. Caring House itself is not a hospice service.

Which hospital/hospice group do you belong to?

None. Caring House is an independent nonprofit organization.

See our directory of Medicare-certified hospices for information on hospice agencies which have already served residents at Caring House.

Do you accept residents from outside the South Bay?

Yes. We primarily serve residents and families from Los Angeles County and the South Bay area. The South Bay cities include Carson, El Segundo, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lomita, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro, Torrance and Wilmington.

Residents have come to us from across Southern California (and even as far away as New York) when they have family located near Caring House.

Do you serve residents with dementia?

We can admit a man or woman with a secondary diagnosis of dementia, unless they would require one-on-one care or would disrupt the peace of our home. We are unable to admit residents whose primary diagnosis is dementia.
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Charges and Insurance

How much does it cost?

It takes money for us to provide our extraordinary level of support. We depend on residents and families helping to cover the costs of care to the best of their ability.

Our About Costs and Payments page explains our approach in more detail.

For more information, come for a tour or speak with the admissions team (call 310-796-6625, extension 2).

What are the payment arrangements?

Checks are made out to Caring House and paid on the day of admission (for the first 14 days) and each 14 days thereafter.

What are your additional charges?

There are none. No evaluation charge. No admission charge. No supplies charge. No charge for increased needs.

Do you accept Medicare, Medi-Cal or private insurance?

Medicare, Medi-Cal and insurance do not pay Caring House for a resident to stay at Caring House. We are not a medical facility. If you have long-term care insurance you might be reimbursed for the costs of living at Caring House depending on the terms of your policy.

What is the typical length of stay? Maximum stay?

Our mission is to serve men and women in the last weeks or days of their lives. Our typical length of stay has been less that sixty days.

In the normal course, residents stay at Caring House indefinitely. There is no maximum length of stay. There are three exceptions: If a resident’s needs increase so that we can no longer safely care for them. If a resident no longer needs the level or type of services we provide. And California law provides us rights to evict in limited circumstances.

Are there ever refunds?

A refund could be available for contributions made to help cover a resident’s costs of care, depending on the circumstances. Read our refund policy.

Are payments tax deductible?

We call the payments that residents and families “contributions to help cover the resident’s costs of care.” Those contributions to costs of care are not deductible as charitable donations under the IRS/Federal income tax rules.

A portion of the contributions, however, might be deductible as medical and/or long-term care expenses for Federal income tax purposes. Check with your tax advisor.

Life at Caring House

Caring House

What is provided?

Each bedroom is a fully-furnished private bedroom. It has a fully-powered residential care bed, side table, lamp, guest chairs, and wardrobe space. In addition, each bedroom has a cable TV, and a clock. All residents receive ample linens and bath towels, as well as basic toileting items. In general, we provide all of the necessary items to assist in the care of the resident.

Are meals provided?

Yes. When a resident first arrives we find out their food preferences and work hard to meet them. Homemade meals and snacks are provided. Timing is adjusted to meet the resident’s wishes as much as possible. Basic accommodations will be made for residents wishing to store special food items.

What are the bedrooms like?

As a house built in the 1950s and renovated since then, each bedroom has its own unique character. They all have soft colors and windows allowing in natural light. All bedrooms are private. All are located on the same floor of our single-story home.

Do you have male / female bedrooms?

No. All bedrooms are private, not shared.

How are medications stored?

All medications (including over-the-counter) are kept, locked up and monitored by the Caring House staff.

Can I smoke on the premises?

No. Caring House is a non-smoking property.

What are the visiting hours?

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, visits are by appointment only, between 9 am and 6 pm, only and follow our visitor approach.

We have dedicated personal electronic devices for each Resident to utilize in the comfort and safety of their room. Residents will be assisted in using video and audio calling to reach loved ones.

Where should we park?

Parking is in the parking lot of the First Christian Church of Torrance (Blue Church) at the intersection of Onrado St. and Felbar Ave. The lot is about 300 strides (15 calories) away from the house. Location map.

Having our visitors, volunteers and staff park at the Blue Church is an important part of being a good neighbor. Please do not park on El Dorado Street, Fonthill Ave., Kornblum Ave., Teri Ave. or Felbar Ave. Location map.

For those unable to walk between the parking lot and Caring House, let us know and we will help with other arrangements.

Can I bring my own furniture and other personal belongings?

Each bedroom at Caring House is fully furnished and space is provided for personal belongings, such as clothing, towels, toiletries, blankets, and other smaller items. We’re not able to accommodate large furniture like dressers, cabinets and tables.

To help Caring House be like “home” we welcome photos, personal art and similar items, space allowing. We ask that residents not bring money, wallets, jewelry or other valuables.

Are pets allowed?

The intimate environment of the home requires us to limit the kinds of pets we can accommodate. We welcome pets such as dogs and cats on a visiting basis in the rear yard, if arranged in advance with the Resident Care Manager.

Is the house wheelchair accessible?

Yes. A wheelchair entrance makes indoor and outdoor areas easily accessible. Wide doorways and bathroom access assure mobility throughout the house.

End of Life Option Act

California’s End of Life Option Act (effective June 9, 2016) authorizes health care providers to participate in aid-in-dying activities and it protects them from liability if they do. Caring House is not a health care provider as defined in the Act, so it is not protected or authorized to participate.

Caring House will continue its mission to provide peace, comfort and support to men and women who are dying, but will not participate in aid-in-dying activities under the Act.
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