What is Hospice Care?

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is a special kind of care that provides comfort, support, and dignity at the end of life, typically when you or your loved one’s life expectancy is six months or less.

Hospice cares for the whole person, addressing physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Care is provided by a team of trained professionals and volunteers, with access to caregivers 24/7 as needed.

Hospice care can be provided wherever you live — at home, in a nursing or assisted living facility, or in an inpatient hospice facility (when appropriate). The hospice team also helps you and your family by offering education, advice, and grief support.

What is the Purpose of Hospice Care?

The goal of hospice care is to help you live in peace, comfort, and dignity up to and including the moment of death. The hospice team works to control pain and other symptoms, so you can experience your highest quality of life throughout the dying process.

Hospice supports you to live each moment to the fullest, based on your wishes and abilities. The team also helps your family cope with the demands of caregiving and the issues surrounding death.

What is the Philosophy of Hospice Care?

Hospice focuses on you and your family, instead of the disease. It’s about providing the best possible quality of life for whatever time remains.

Have questions about hospice care at Samaritan?


Speak to a Hospice Expert

Learn About the Goals and Benefits of Hospice Treatment

Hospice care is a specialized type of health care that embraces a person living with advanced illness. The benefits of hospice care include:

Peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

The hospice team eases your anxiety by being available on-call 24 hours a day, and by educating you about caring for your loved one and what to expect as illness progresses.

Sandy was frantic when her husband was calling out in pain at 12:30 a.m. So she called Samaritan’s (800) number and spoke to the nurse who walked Sandy through administering pain medication.

Expert care by trained professionals.

Hospice addresses your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs to provide the best possible quality of life for you or your loved one – as defined by you and your family. The key to providing such support is using a diverse team of professionals who address all aspects of your needs. The team consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, spiritual support counselors, and health care aides, among others. Each member is trained to provide comforting, end-of-life care.

Frank lived alone. His hospice social worker connected him with a local non-profit that will deliver him hot meals several times a week.

Regular visits.

Members of Samaritan’s hospice team will visit you and your family regularly depending on your needs. In addition, the team is available 24/7 by calling (800) 229-8183.

Care where you live.

Many patients are able to remain in their current residence, whether it’s their own home or that of a loved one, or their assisted living or nursing facility. The focus is on creating a calm, restful environment that brings comfort and support to you and your loved ones.

Maintaining dignity.

Hospice helps you live your final days and moments with dignity. You are not hooked up to noisy equipment; you are not constantly poked and prodded by medical staff; and you don’t undergo invasive procedures or aggressive treatments to extend your life. You are kept clean, comfortable, and as pain-free as possible.

David always looked forward to the certified home health aide visits. He knew his mom appreciated the delicate bath and attention to her hair. The home health aide always made his mom feel so comfortable.

Personalized support based on your wishes.

Hospice focuses on your individual needs and choices, providing everything from companionship, to spiritual support, to a favorite food. Hospice enables you and your family to spend quality time together and focus on what matters most to you.

Samaritan also provides a special kind of care for Catholic and Jewish patients and their families, and is committed to providing veteran-specific hospice care that recognizes their distinctive needs.

Armando’s Samaritan hospice team, with the help of Samaritan volunteer Lance Corporal Chris Mora, stand proudly before him and surprise Armando with the Burlington County Military Service Medal as a Thank You for his military service to our country. 

Covered by Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance.

Hospital bills at the end of life can be overwhelming for many families. However, when your loved one is on hospice care, your out-of-pocket costs are significantly reduced, as Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance help cover hospice costs. You or your family are encouraged to check with your insurance provider to find out what elements of hospice care it covers. Moreover, hospice organizations provide hospice-related medications and medical supplies at no charge to you and your family.

Supports you and your family members during and after a terminal illness.

Hospice helps families cope with this difficult time, offering counseling by social workers and chaplains. We also offer individual bereavement counseling, and help families complete some of the tasks that are necessary after death.

Kathy had a hard time dealing with the loss of her mother. She was grateful for her social worker’s follow-up calls and counseling sessions that gave her the tools to cope better with going back to work.

Samaritan Voted Highest Quality of Care by Caregivers 4th Year in A Row. Learn More >>

Types of Hospice Care

Samaritan provides hospice care where you live:

Eligibility for Hospice Treatment

Click here to read about eligibility for hospice care. In addition, Samaritan has other ways to help. We encourage you to speak directly with our nurses about how we can help with your loved one’s needs. Call us 24/7 at (800) 229-8183.

Who Pays for Hospice Care?

Hospice care treatment is a benefit of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Most commercial insurance plans also cover hospice with applicable co-pays and deductibles. Samaritan’s staff will assist patients and families in understanding and securing eligible coverage and care options. Please call us with questions about your loved one’s hospice care coverage.


Patients can be referred for hospice care by themselves, a loved one, or a healthcare provider. To apply for Samaritan’s services, please complete our online referral form or call us at (800) 229-8183.

If you are a healthcare provider seeking more information on hospice, or if you would like to discuss a specific patient’s needs and/or hospice eligibility, please call us at the number above. To learn more about a variety of hospice-related topics, please visit our Additional Resources section.

Hospice Team Members

Hospice care includes a team of experts to care for you and your loved ones. The goal of hospice care team members is to make the patient as comfortable as possible. Click here to learn more about the many members of the hospice team.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you giving up hope for your loved one? Does hospice hasten death? Is hospice only for cancer patients? Get the answers to these questions and more by clicking here.

Have more questions about the benefits of hospice? Or want to learn about the treatments and goals of Samaritan’s hospice services? Call us at (800) 229-8183