Frequently Asked Questions

What does Hospice mean?

The word hospice comes from the Latin root for “hospitality” and “hospitable”. The term has been adopted to describe emotional, social, physical and spiritual care for the terminally ill and for those who care about them.

What is Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.?

Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. (HSB) is a nonprofit organization that provides free compassionate care to people within the community experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one.  We provide support services including care management, professional and individual group counseling, mentorship and compassionate care to children, families, teens, adults and seniors.

Are there different types of Hospice organizations in Santa Barbara? What is the difference?

In Santa Barbara, there are two types of hospice providers: Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. which is a Volunteer Hospice, and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care (VNHC), Assisted Hospice, and Central Coast Home Health and Hospice which are all medical models of Hospice.

The medical models can provide care only when a prognosis of 6 months or less is given and the patient discontinues curative treatment. Medical hospices focus on relieving physical pain associated with end of life. Medical Hospices are paid for through Medicare, Medicaid and private insurances.

As a Volunteer Hospice Organization, Hospice of Santa Barbara addresses the physical, social, emotional and spiritual suffering of those impacted by serious illness or grieving the death of a loved one.  We can serve anyone regardless of the diagnosis, treatment choices, or life-expectancy.   We are the only agency that serves the newly diagnosed.

Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. is a “Volunteer Hospice”? What is a Volunteer Hospice?

Volunteer Hospices in California are not required to be licensed as long as they do not provide skilled nursing or charge a fee. All of Hospice of Santa Barbara’s professional services are provided free to the community.  No one is denied care because of lack of medical insurance or inability to pay.  The state Attorney General monitors operations.

What specific services does Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. provide?

• Individual and Group Counseling

• Care Management

• Spiritual Care Counseling

• Volunteer Services

• Community Education and Outreach

How do I receive services from Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.?

Call our office at 805-563-8820 and our experienced intake coordinator will listen to your needs and assess who can serve you best. Hospice of Santa Barbara is partnered with 25 local social service agencies and can make referrals when necessary.

Do you provide services to Spanish speaking clients?

Yes, all of the services provided by Hospice of Santa Barbara are available in Spanish.

Do you provide services to children and teens?

Yes, Hospice of Santa Barbara has a team of specially trained clinicians that are experienced in the nuances of childhood grief.  Children as early as 3 years old can benefit from Hospice of Santa Barbara’s support.

What are the types of support groups that Hospice of Santa Barbara provides?

Whatever your situation and circumstance, Hospice of Santa Barbara offers an opportunity for you to connect with others who are facing, or have faced, your situation. All our support groups are co-facilitated by licensed professional counselors and peer counselors -- men and women just like you who have faced their own grief and are now ready to give back to others. See our website for a list of current support groups or call 805-563-8820.

What is your annual operations budget?

$3.82 million per year.

How is Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. able to support its self?

As a nonprofit, Hospice of Santa Barbara depends largely on the generosity of the community to support its professional staff and provide services that enable us to create the innovative programs that speak to the needs of our friends, families and neighbors.  Hospice of Santa Barbara does have an endowment fund managed by the Santa Barbara Hospice Foundation. Distributions from the endowment provide approximately 50% of our operating expenses.

How can I help?

The simplest way to help Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. is to make a financial donation. Donations can be made in person, by mail, or on our website

Volunteering your time is also an invaluable way to help. All Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. volunteers participate in a comprehensive training program. Please visit our website for volunteer opportunities.