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What is the Distinction Between Palliative and Hospice Care

This article will explore the distinction between palliative and hospice care and when each type of care may be appropriate.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and overlook the importance of planning for end-of-life care. However, making decisions about what kind of care you or your loved ones will receive during this time is crucial. Two terms often used interchangeably when discussing end-of-life care are palliative and hospice care. 

While both types of care focus on providing comfort and support to patients, there are some critical differences between the two. This article will explore the distinction between palliative and hospice care and when each type of care may be appropriate.

What is palliative care?

It is a type of care that focuses on relieving the symptoms and stress of a severe illness. Palliative care focus on improving the quality of life and health for the patient and their family. Palliative care teams can consist of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and other professionals who work together to provide comprehensive care.

It can be provided at any stage of a severe illness and delivered alongside curative treatment. Palliative care is appropriate for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less and those living with a chronic, debilitating illness.

What is hospice care?

Hospice care is palliative care that provides comfort and support to patients in the final stages of a terminal illness. Hospice care aims to allow patients to live their remaining days with dignity and peace. Hospice care teams consist of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and other professionals who work together to provide comprehensive care.

Hospice care is appropriate for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less. It can be provided at home, in a hospice facility, or in a hospital.

When to choose palliative care over hospice care

Palliative care is appropriate for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less and those living with a chronic, debilitating illness. Hospice care is appropriate for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a fatal disease, discussing your treatment choices, including palliative and hospice care, with your doctor is critical. Deciding which type of care is right for you or your loved one is personal, and there is no wrong answer. The most important thing is that you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one and have a team of supportive professionals to help you through this difficult time. Key points to take away:

  • Palliative care is geared more toward symptom relief, while hospice care focuses on end-of-life comfort.
  • It can be provided at any stage of a severe illness, whereas hospice care is only appropriate when imminent death occurs.
  • Palliative care teams are interdisciplinary, while hospice teams may only include nurses and doctors.
  • It can be delivered alongside curative treatment, but hospice care cannot.
  • Palliative care is appropriate for patients with a life expectancy of six months or less, while hospice care is only appropriate for patients with a life expectancy of three months or less.

Hospice and palliative care are both types of care that focus on offering comfort and support to patients. There are several significant distinctions between the two, and discussing your options with your doctor is critical.

When to choose hospice care over palliative care

Hospice care is appropriate for patients diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less. It can be provided at home, in a hospice facility, or in a hospital.

If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, you must talk to your doctor about your treatment options, including palliative and hospice care. Deciding which type of care is right for you or your loved one is personal, and there’s no wrong answer. The most important thing is that you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one and have a team of supportive professionals to help you through this difficult time. Key points to take away:

  • Hospice care is geared more toward end-of-life comfort, while palliative care focuses on symptom relief.
  • It can be provided at any stage of a terminal illness, whereas palliative care is only appropriate when death is not imminent.
  • Hospice teams are interdisciplinary, while palliative teams may only include nurses and doctors.
  • Hospice care can be delivered alongside curative treatment, but palliative care cannot.
  • Hospice care is appropriate for patients with a life expectancy of three months or less, while palliative care is only appropriate for patients with a life expectancy of six months or less.

If you are unsure which type of care is right for you or your loved one, talking to your doctor is an excellent place to start. They will help you understand the differences between palliative and hospice care and make recommendations based on your situation. Visit  phoenix home care and hospice for more info.

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