What is the main difference between hospice care and palliative care?
“Palliative care is the combination of active and compassionate therapies intended to comfort and support individuals and families who are living with a life-threatening illness. The goal is to manage symptoms, enhance knowledge, facilitate caregiver participation, and coordinate physical, psychosocial and spiritual support services. Palliative care is available to anyone experiencing difficulty managing pain and symptoms usually related to a life-threatening illness. The consultations are conducted by a registered nurse and may be provided to patients who are still undergoing active treatment for their illness and will continue to be provided so long as the patient requires pain or symptom management.” (Home Hospice and Palliative Care of Rhode Island)
Hospice care “is a specialized program that offers help, comfort and support for people with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Hospice is about helping patients live full and meaningful lives by aiding them and their families with medical, emotional and spiritual care.” (Home Hospice & Palliative Care of Rhode Island)
“Hospice care is provided to patients who have a life-threatening illness and are expected to live six months or less ... is provided by a team – nurses, hospice aides, social workers, physicians, chaplains, grief counselors ... and continues until the patient dies.” (Home Hospice & Palliative Care of Rhode Island)
It’s too early to think about hospice care.
As with most things, you may not need hospice care for you or your loved one, right now, but it pays to learn, plan and think ahead to avoid having to make a very important decision under very stressful conditions. Discuss end-of-life wishes with your family now so that in the event that they need to make decisions on your behalf, they can.
“Only about 24 percent of Americans put into writing how they want to be cared for at the end-of-life ...