Hospice Care

Photo of senior woman being comforted by a health professionalThe hospice philosophy of care focuses on quality of life through pain and symptom management. When a cure is no longer possible, hospice care is designed to treat the whole person, and not just the disease. It also provides emotional and spiritual support for you and your family. An interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals design and implement a plan of care unique to your diagnosis. Your wishes are always a priority. In addition, hospice provides all medications, services, and equipment related to the terminal illness and provided wherever you are, whether that is a private residence, assisted living facility, hospital, or other location. Hospice caregivers travel to you and your family to provide care. Hospice care does not end with a person’s death; it continues with up to 13 months of bereavement counseling for the family and loved ones.

The primary goals of hospice care are to:

  • Relieve the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual suffering
  • Promote the dignity and independence of individuals to the greatest extent possible
  • Support people and their families in finding personal fulfillment as they deal with end-of-life challenges

Who is Eligible?

Hospice care is used when a disease can no longer be cured or controlled with treatment. Hospice care should be used when you are expected to live about 6 months or less. Individuals living with serious illness along with their family members and healthcare team decide together when hospice care should begin.

List of Services:

Hospice care provides:

  • Symptom relief and control
  • Spiritual care
  • Family meetings
  • Coordination of care
  • Respite care (for people being cared for at home, some hospice services offer respite care to allow friends and family some time away from caregiving)
  • Bereavement care
  • Special legacy projects (projects to leave something meaning behind when a loved one passes)
  • Access to volunteers for support services
  • Medical equipment and supplies

Who pays for Hospice?

The Medicare Hospice Benefit is an inclusive benefit, in which all services that are related to the terminal illness are covered up to 100 percent by Medicare Part A. For those not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, payment for hospice can come from private insurance or an HMO, since these also include a hospice benefit. Hospices employ financial specialists to help families who do not qualify for federal assistance and do not have insurance find available resources. The payment options for these families include self-pay and charitable organizations.

For more resources about hospice, please visit:

Icon of Let's Talk
Icon of 4Step iCare Plan (grey)
4Step iCarePlan
icon of NJ POLST