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Blog: Stories and Insight

Hospice At-Home vs. South NJ Hospice Facility?

Do you have a loved one who needs hospice care in South Jersey? If so, you may wonder which would be better: to get hospice care at home, or to receive care in a hospice facility.

Either can be the right choice, depending on your situation. In South N.J., high-quality hospice care is available in both settings. To help you decide which is best for your loved one, consider the differences between the two, as well as your family member’s individual needs.

Where is hospice provided?

At-home hospice is provided where the patient lives — whether in their own home or that of a loved one, or in their assisted-living or nursing facility. In South Jersey, Samaritan is the largest and most experienced at-home hospice provider.

Most people would prefer to spend their final days at home, but that is not always possible for a variety of reasons. A hospice facility can provide a homelike setting where your loved one can receive the care they need. 

A hospice facility is another place where people can receive hospice care. A hospice facility can be either a stand-alone building or part of a hospital. Patients are admitted to these inpatient facilities, where they receive around-the-clock care for severe pain and symptoms associated with their hospice diagnosis. South Jersey has two hospice facilities, which are both operated by Samaritan.

What are the similarities between at-home hospice and care provided in a hospice facility?

These two settings for hospice care have many things in common. In South N.J., for example, both provide:

  • Care that keeps people as comfortable, alert, and pain-free as possible.
  • Care that enhances quality of life.
  • Physical, emotional, social, and spiritual support, based on the person’s needs.
  • Bathing and other personal care.
  • A team of providers from different disciplines, depending on the needs of the patient and family. The team can include hospice physicians and nurses, social workers, nutritionists, wound-care specialists, spiritual support counselors, health care aides, and trained volunteers, among others.
  • Coordination with the patient’s personal physician.
  • Medications, supplies, and medical equipment, from incontinence products to supplemental oxygen to a hospital bed (home delivery included).
  • Care that avoids trips to the hospital. With Samaritan’s at-home care, for instance, you can reach us 24/7. If we can’t resolve a problem over the phone, we will send a nurse, so you never need to call 911.
  • Support and education for the patient and family, including expert answers to your questions, information about the dying process, emotional support, and help with funeral planning.
  • Grief support before and after the patient’s death.

Hospice is an approach to care, rather than a place. Therefore, the tenets of hospice care remain the same, wherever the care is provided.

What are the differences between South NJ at-home hospice and care provided in a hospice facility?

In addition to where the care is provided, there are other important differences between at-home hospice and care in a South Jersey inpatient hospice facility. The following table summarizes these differences.

Hospice at Home vs. Hospice Facility in South NJ

At-home hospice

Care in a hospice facility

Types of patients served and/or situations addressed
  • For patients whose needs can be met where they live
  • (Medicare calls this the “Routine Home Care” level of care
  • To learn more, visit At-home Hospice Care in South NJ.


  • For patients whose pain or other symptoms require a short-term period of continuously supervised care (Medicare calls this the “General Inpatient” level of hospice care)
  • To provide occasional short-term respite care that enables family caregivers to have a short break from caregiving (Medicare calls this the “Inpatient Respite” level of hospice care)
  • To provide hospice care when home care is not possible. For example, the family may be unable to care for their loved one around-the-clock near the end of life. Or they may need time to prepare to care for their loved one upon discharge from the hospital or inpatient hospice facility. (The patient/family may be required to pay room and board, which insurance does not generally cover in these circumstances.) Learn more here.
Intensity of care
  •  Staff visits the patient’s home several times a week, depending on the person’s needs.
  • Urgent support is typically just a phone call away, 24/7.
  •  Offers a more advanced level of care for patients with severe pain or other symptoms that cannot be effectively addressed at home.
  • Continuous supervision of the patient and monitoring/adjustments to their medication.
  • Medical staff are present around-the-clock.
Length of care Six months or more, depending on the person’s life expectancy. For details, click here.  Care is usually available on a short-term basis, either in the final days of life, or until the person improves enough to return home or to a nursing facility. At-home hospice may then be provided in the new location.
Key advantages
  • Enables people to remain at home near the end of life, which most people prefer
  • Enables people to remain in familiar surroundings, which can be comforting
  • Enables more interaction with loved ones who share the home. You may have more opportunities for bonding, meaningful conversations, and memory-making activities.
  • Provides a peaceful, homelike setting when staying at home is not possible
  • Offers a more intensive level of 24-hour care, compared to at-home hospice
  • Offers respite to family caregivers who need a break from hands-on caregiving
  • Offers 24-hour visitation
  • Enables immediate family members to stay overnight in the bedside sleeper chair
Privacy Care is provided in the privacy of the patient’s home or in their long-term care community. Samaritan’s South N.J. hospice facilities feature all private rooms, and other secluded areas for quiet conversation.
South N.J. locations Available throughout South Jersey. Samaritan serves Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer counties.

Can my loved one start on hospice at home, but transfer to a hospice facility if needed?

Yes, this is possible in several situations. For example:

  • If your loved one’s needs intensify at home, the hospice team may recommend transferring him or her to the inpatient level of hospice care.
  • If your loved one is in a hospital because of intense pain or symptoms and meets the inpatient-hospice criteria, the hospital staff may recommend hospice admission and transfer to an inpatient hospice facility.

If you become overwhelmed by the emotional and/or physical demands of caregiving, your loved one may qualify for a short-term respite stay at an inpatient hospice facility.

To learn more about hospice at home or hospice facilities in South Jersey, please call Samaritan at (800) 229-8183.