Palliative Care Versus Hospice Care

People who are seriously ill may receive a number of different types of treatment, and it can be confusing to figure out just what is involved. Two of the terms you might hear are palliative care and hospice care. Hospice care is a type of palliative care, so they are related. However, these two terms don't have exactly the same meaning or implications.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is provided by a team of medical workers, such as nurses and doctors, as well as other professionals, including chaplains and social workers. The idea is to make the patient more comfortable and improve their quality of life by providing family and caregiver support, helping with communication and coordination, providing emotional support, and helping to control pain and symptoms. The palliative care team will discuss your wishes with you and help you to meet these goals whenever possible. This type of care can be provided in hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, outpatient clinics or the patient's home along with the curative care meant to help treat your health problems.

Palliative care makes it easier to go through with all of the necessary treatments for a serious health condition by helping with the symptoms of not just the disease itself but also the symptoms caused by the treatment. This type of care can be given no matter what stage of an illness you are at, from when you receive your diagnosis to when you are in the last months of your life.

Hospice Care

Hospice care falls under palliative care, having the same goal - to make the patient's remaining quality of life as good as possible. The main difference is that hospice care is for those who are no longer receiving curative treatments, such as those who are in the last stages of an incurable disease or who didn't respond to available treatments for their condition and aren't expected to live much longer. People typically receive hospice care in the last few months or weeks of their lives when it is no longer likely that they will be cured of their serious health problems. It's meant to help people die with dignity and with as little pain and suffering as possible.

This type of care is usually provided at home, but can also be provided in a hospice facility or nursing home in some cases. This is typically a service for people who would like to die in the comfort of their own home instead of in a hospital setting. 

To learn more about hospice and palliative care, contact a company like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care that specializes in these services.