Palliative vs. Hospice Care
Making decisions on end-of-life care is a confusing and challenging process. Thankfully, there are resources available, such as palliative and hospice care, that can provide you with a team of medical professionals who can assist you and your loved ones during this difficult time.
While palliative and hospice care sound very similar on paper, there are important distinctions between them. It’s important to understand these differences so you can make the best choice for yourself or help your loved one to make the decision they are most comfortable with.
Table of Contents
- What is palliative care?
- How to prepare for palliative care
- What is hospice care?
- Getting Help During Tough Times
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is a resource available to anyone diagnosed with a serious illness. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) notes that it is not dependent on prognosis and is available to patients at any point after their diagnosis.
Palliative care provides patients with a team of professionals dedicated to improving quality of life by providing symptom relief, emotional, spiritual and financial support. They also assist with medical and treatment decisions, Healthline explains.
The Mayo Clinic writes that patients living with illnesses such as cancer, blood and bone marrow disorders, heart disease, dementia, kidney failure and stroke may benefit from palliative care. With a team of professionals readily available, they can see improvement in symptoms such as pain, nausea, depression and fatigue.
Patients receiving palliative care can be treated in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics or the patient’s home. As long as the patient is receiving treatment for their illness, they will receive care from specialist doctors and nurses, social workers and nutritionists, the NIA writes.
How to prepare for palliative care
To prepare for palliative care, the Mayo Clinic recommends creating a list of symptoms. Then, make note of what seems to improve these symptoms and what seems to aggravate them. This list will help your team tailor-fit a plan to fit your needs. The Mayo Clinic also recommends bringing a loved one to your first appointment for support.
Patients can expect symptom management, care techniques – such as breathing exercises – and assistance with advanced care planning when receiving palliative care.
What is hospice care?
The key difference between palliative care and hospice is curative treatments. While palliative care can be used by patients still choosing to work toward a cure, hospice is for terminally ill patients whose doctor determines they have less than six months to live, according to Healthline. Those who choose hospice won’t be engaging in treatments meant to reverse their condition.
The Mayo Clinic explains that hospice care signifies a shift from curative measures to supportive care. Under hospice care, doctors cease curative treatments and instead design a care plan dedicated to providing comfort and support for patients.
Hospice care can be administered in the patient’s home, hospitals, nursing homes or other assisted living facilities. Under hospice care, patients and their families will receive professional support in making difficult end-of-life care decisions. It is the medical team’s mission to provide comfort and support while respecting the patient’s dignity, needs and wishes.
Getting Help During Tough Times
Titan Casket is dedicated to providing you with all the answers you need when it comes to preparing for end-of-life care and navigating your grief. We can also help you when it comes to buying a casket.We are your trusted ally in planning the funeral you want at an affordable, fair price. Contact us via our chat window or here on our contact page to get started.