UCSF Care at Home
The UCSF Care at Home provides primary care and palliative care to homebound older adults living in San Francisco through their Housecalls and Bridges Programs.
Elders become homebound for a variety of reasons. The narrow staircases, hills, and architecture of San Francisco can make leaving a home or apartment difficult or impossible. Physical illness and frailty often increase with age, and mental illness and cognitive disorders can effectively trap an elder in their home.
Our patients are of every ethnicity and of all socioeconomic levels. Our Housecalls team of physicians and a nurse practitioner are trained in care of older adults, including palliative medicine and hospice care. Together with our Housecalls Coordinator, we work closely with the many community services which enable our patients to live safely at home. We serve all neighborhoods in San Francisco. The average age of our patients is 87 years. Referrals come from UCSF and community physicians, home care agencies, social workers, adult protective services, and directly from families.
Housecalls accepts Medicare, Medi-Cal and supplemental insurance coverage, but relies on philanthropic support from foundations and individuals to fund its operations. Housecalls has 501(c)(3) nonprofit status through the UCSF Foundation and tax-deductible donations are appreciated.
Honors and Awards
The UCSF Care at Home Team received the 2015 UCSF Medical Center Team PRIDE award. This highest honor is awarded in recognition of their continuous demonstration of our core values: Professionalism, respect, Integrity, Diversity, and Excellence.
UCSF Housecalls Program was started in 1999 with a philanthropic gift from the Richard and Maria Ury Endowment in honor of Dr. Harry Weinstein. The original goal was to teach medical students about home care. The critical need for primary care medical services for homebound elders has become very evident, and Housecalls has evolved to embrace the mission to deliver medical care in the home to frail elders in addition to teaching the next generation of providers about housecalls.
Our teaching program has been very popular. Every year Housecalls trains medical and other health professional students, Internal Medicine and Family Practice residents, and Geriatrics fellows. Their evaluations have spoken very highly of the quality of teaching and the impact of treating patients in their home environment. Students and residents get a very different perspective than in the clinic or the hospital, as our care is much more patient and family-focused.
UC Care at Home’s Bridges program aims to help our UCSF patients living with serious illness receive the best care possible. Bridges offers home-visits by physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and chaplains who specialize in symptom management, communication, and safe transitions from hospital to home. Our team works closely with a patient’s primary and specialty care providers, as well as home health and hospice agencies.
Bridges can help UCSF patients and families:
- Create a clear and effective plan for managing symptoms at home
- Understand their illness and what to expect in the future
- Ensure a safe and comfortable transition from hospital to home
- Make important medical decisions based on the patient’s hopes and values
- Coordinate effectively with medical providers
- Connect to medical and social support resources
Patients are referred to Bridges by their UCSF physician in the hospital or clinic. To qualify for Bridges patients must: be over 18 years old, live in San Francisco, have a serious and/or chronic progressive illness, have difficulty leaving the home for activities other than medical appointments, and have UCSF primary care or specialist provider they see regularly.
To find out more about the program, make a donation or refer a patient, please call the program at (415) 514-3577.