Project Description

Respite Care

Respite care is available to the primary caregivers and family in need of rest from caring for the patient. There are several local nursing facilities, as well as private respite homes available for respite care. The patient is able to stay in one of the facilities or homes for up to five (5) days per episode, according to Medicare guidelines. Medicare covers respite care costs as part of the Hospice benefit. Ask your hospice team for more information regarding places that provide respite care.

Palliative care differs from curative care in that it is not intended to cure the disease. As a result, routine IV’s, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery would only be appropriate if the physician and the hospice staff determine these procedures in some way enhance the patient’s quality of life.

There may come a time during the course of your family member’s illness that you, as a caregiver, may need some time away from the day-to-day challenges of care-giving. Caregiver stress, or burnout, can lead to physical illness and emotional distress that can interfere with your ability to provide care to your loved one suffering from a terminal illness.

Respite care can be provided through an inpatient hospice unit, a hospice house, a nursing home, or an acute care hospital that has dedicated hospice beds.

What Is Respite Care For Hospice Caregivers?

The word “respite” means rest or relief. Respite care is a gift of time or “relief”, provided by hospice care professionals, volunteers and other family members, for the maximum of five days, to the primary caregivers of terminally ill patients.

Hospice respite care programs are designed to provide temporary, short-term assistance in caring for an individual who has a terminal illness. It is intended to allow the caregivers, often the spouse, children or family member, to take some time away from the patient, and even allow the patient some time away from the caregiver. This respite to allows everyone to emotionally recharge, physically refresh and better prepared to manage the day-to-day challenges of care-giving in the face of a chronic life-threatening illness.

At times, the patient could be admitted to an inpatient hospice facility, a nursing facility or a hospital, while the primary caregiver takes a break from providing care.

The family may wish to go on a vacation or the family may just need a few days so they can rest, recharge and get some much-needed uninterrupted sleep. Respite care is allowed up to five days.


Hospice of Grace is a leading provider of hospice care in Southern California

Minas Kochumian, MD

Medical Director

Dr. Kochumian graduated from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine in 1994. He works in Northridge, CA and specializes in Internal Medicine and Internal Medicine – Geriatrics.

Geriatrics is a field of medicine that deals with elderly people. The main focus of medical doctors in this field – geriatricians – is the overall health of elderly patients, and diagnosis and treatment of any illnesses they may encounter. Elderly-patient care often involves multiple health concerns at the same time, and patients may not respond to treatments in the same way as younger patients. Geriatricians are trained to deal with these unique situations. Social aspects involving elderly patients, such as home support, may also be evaluated by a geriatrician providing care.

Arpi Grace Kestenian

Chief Executive Officer

Arpine Grace Kestenian is the Chief Executive Officer of Hospice of Grace. She is a leader in the health care industry with over twenty years of quality management experience. She is known for her managed care dealings on behalf of a multitude of medical groups, physicians and hospitals. She is widely respected in the community as a reliable and knowledgeable source with regard to all aspects of healthcare. She provides community education through the media and is revered as an extraordinary resource for navigation through our complicated health care systems. She has served on multiple community and executive boards, including but not limited to: Glendale Youth Alliance, Chamber of Commerce, and branches of the American Medical Society. She volunteers for community foundations and is a leader at procuring funds for the Bone Marrow Donor Registry for those in need worldwide. She has been very successful at individual causes brought to her attention through the “Gift of Life Foundation” dedicated to support for children with life threatening illnesses.

Edward Kocharian, MD

Associate Medical Director

Edward Kocharian, MD, is the Medical Director for Hospice of Grace. He is board certified in Internal Medicine. He completed his residency at Cleveland Clinic Health Systems following medical school. Dr. Kocharian’s clinical area of expertise includes but is not limited to palliative and hospice care. Through his practice he services primarily the geriatric population. He is fluent in English, Armenian and Russian. He is committed to compassionate care and symptom management as well as quality of life. He is respected and revered in the community as a quality physician who takes the needed time to listen to his patients’ needs and to respond with solutions and interventions that make better days for his clients. He is a source of knowledge and support for the Hospice of Grace caregivers and team as well as the individual patients and their families. He attends the Hospice of Grace interdisciplinary team meetings, offering advice and guidance in their quest to provide quality of life.

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