Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care
You may have heard of hospice or palliative care, if you care for a loved one or for other personal reasons. You might have even heard these terms used interchangeably. While these services may appear similar on the outside, the two differ significantly. If the time comes when you must make a decision about palliative care or hospice care for yourself or a loved one, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with each service to ensure you are making the best decision for yourself and/or your family.
Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care
Both hospice and palliative care assist patients and their families with emotional and medical support. Each can offer relief from pain and other severe injury or illness symptoms. Also, hospice and palliative care can provide the spiritual and social needs that their patients and families may require.
The objective of both palliative and hospice care is to manage pain and provide symptom relief, though the prognosis and goals of each type are different. Palliative care comes first as compassionate and comforting care for people living with a serious illness, regardless of the stage. It helps people navigate through life with the symptoms of long-lasting things such as cancer and/or kidney disease. This is known as curative care.
Hospice care is reserved for those not expected to recover from their condition. In a way, hospice is a type of palliative care for people approaching their final stages of life. The primary focus in hospice care is to ease any pain individuals may have and make them as comfortable as possible as they enter the final stages of life. This is known as non-curative care. Non-curative care is medical care that focuses on improving a patient’s quality of life rather than curing the illness or condition. Additionally, it is designed to help and comfort family members as their loved one passes. The compassionate team at Plainfield Health Care Center is experienced in delivering the very best hospice care. You may have heard hospice care referred to as “End of Life Care” because it is offered when people are expected to have 6 months or less to live. Therefore, patients and their families need to be surrounded by one another with the help of doctors, nurses, religious officials, and social workers who can be helpful in times of grief.
Patients in hospice enter with the goal of pain and symptom management. Patients in hospice are not seeking a cure for their illnesses. Instead, they are looking to improve their quality of life with their remaining time. Therefore, when seeking hospice care, the patient must end any curative treatment to be eligible for hospice. Although other medication may continue if it is deemed necessary for symptom management. The patient will continue to receive care for as long as the doctor, and hospice care team certify that the condition meets the criteria of an illness with a life expectancy of months.
Many people who receive hospice care have conditions and illnesses such as:
- Heart disease
- Kidney failure
The hospice care team at Plainfield Health Care Center is well-staffed with nurses and other care providers. Our team is highly trained and experienced. It is important to note if hospice is needed, the sooner care is started, the more time you have to spend quality and enriching time with your loved one.
Palliative care is a type of specialized care for anyone living with a serious, life-long illness. While palliative care can be sought at any stage of an illness, it is most effective when provided soon after a diagnosis. There are many reasons a person may seek palliative care, some of which include but are not limited to the following:
- Heart failure
- COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
A patient in palliative care may live for many years while undergoing treatment. There are certain illnesses where recovery is quite possible, however, that depends on the illness and the prognosis. In addition, palliative care can be used alongside other medical treatments or as a means to manage symptoms resulting from medical treatment.
Hospice Care Team
A patient’s hospice care team can and/or will include many specialists, including doctors, nurses, social workers, religious and/or spiritual officials, and additional volunteers. The entire team works together for the patient and their families in order to provide the medical and emotional support needed. Additionally, they are there to aid family members and other loved ones with supportive tools and resources to ease the transition into the grieving process.
Palliative Care Team
A palliative care team is composed of many professionals to assist the patient, their families, and any other doctors the patient may have. A patient’s team will typically vary depending on their care level and needs, but generally, you will find palliative care specialists, doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, and chaplains. These professionals work together to provide medical, social, and emotional support for the patient and their loved ones. Additionally, these specialists can help patients understand their choices for medical treatment, which is especially helpful for seniors.
Hospice Care Setting
You may receive hospice care at home, or you may decide to move into a specialized facility, such as Plainfield Health Care Center. Hospice care is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance. Medicare and Medicaid typically cover the cost of hospice care in its entirety, while private insurance plans may require patients to pay a portion of the cost.
Here at Plainfield Health Care Center, we offer both short and long-term care. Our nurses will coordinate with hospice care providers to ensure that the patient/resident is well taken care of throughout their stay in our facility. We know how difficult such a time can be, so it is our mission and promises to you that we will do everything possible to provide your loved one with the best standard of compassionate care and respect.
Palliative Care Setting
You may receive palliative care in a hospital, nursing home, outpatient clinic, or in your home. Though it is primarily provided in a health care setting, like our own community here in Plainfield, Indiana. Palliative care costs can vary depending on the needs of the patient. Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance plans cover all or part of the palliative care consultation.
What do palliative care and hospice care have in common?
While palliative and hospice care are two very different treatment options, they have a few key similarities. Both aim to support people, not just seniors, of all ages with serious, life-altering illnesses. Neither palliative nor hospice care will require you to stop seeing your primary care physician, and each team will continue coordinating care with your other doctors. Regardless of which care you and your doctors decide is best, the core mission of palliative and hospice care is to improve your quality and comfort in life, help you make decisions about your medical treatment, and provide you and your family with emotional support.
If you or a loved one has a life-altering diagnosis, it’s essential to educate yourself on the treatment options you have available for you. Our skilled providers at Plainfield Health Care Center in Plainfield, Indiana, can help you navigate many care options. We know how difficult times can be and guarantee that you or your loved one receives the highest standard of care and utmost respect.