What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is the general term given to end-of-life care that focuses on patient comfort rather than recovery- when getting better is no longer an option. A palliative care plan will try to ensure that the patient suffers as little as possible and is allowed to reach the end of their life with minimum pain and suffering, and with as much dignity as possible.
How are hospice and palliative care different?
Hospice can be thought of as a specific type of palliative care. For example, hospice patients are usually referred when doctors believe they are have six months or less to live, where palliative care is not subject to any timing restrictions. (Palliative care can apply over a period of weeks, months, or even years, and can work alongside a long-term treatment plan that aims at patient recovery and healing.
Palliative care can assist with life-limiting conditions, and can also apply when active treatment to combat that illness is still being undertaken. Like hospice, palliative care can include pain management, help with understanding care options towards the end of life, help at home, and emotional support for patients and for loved ones.
Family, friends, and community members are more likely to be involved in hospice care alongside doctors and nurses. Depending on insurance arrangements, eligibility may also be different for hospice and palliative care.
Do you need hospice or palliative care?
If you are unsure about which options you should be looking into, either for yourself or for a loved one, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Even if it’s not time for hospice yet, understanding the choices and having a plan can reduce stress and help everyone feel better.