Palliative Care vs. Hospice: Know the Difference
Published May 23, 2021
If you’ve been reading your health care benefits, you might see some medical terms you’re not familiar with. The most common are palliative care and hospice care. These emerging ways of taking care of patients have improved quality of life, even those with a diagnosed illness.
Both hospice and palliative care provide relief to those in pain, but what are the differences between palliative care vs. hospice? It’s significant to know what they are and how they can make patients’ lives easier, especially if you have a close family or friend who has to decide the best remedies for their ailments.
Understanding Palliative Care
Palliative care is a modern way of enhancing the quality of life of someone with a severe illness. It can be another alternative that you can do along with curative treatments. Here are the examples of extreme cases that will need such care:
- Kidney failure
- Lung disease
- Heart failure
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Liver Cirrhosis
It’s not purely giving medicines to the patient but also helping them cope with the knowledge of their sickness. It’s beyond the patient and the physical boundaries of their medical condition. Here are some examples of palliative care:
- Massage therapy
- Physical Therapy
Though it helps the lives of those affected, not all are covered by insurance companies, unlike hospice care. According to World Health Organization, more than 40 million people need palliative care, but less than 20% receive it. When deciding to get private health insurance, always choose the most comprehensive plan and ensure that palliative care is available.
Understanding Hospice Care
To better understand, hospice is from the Latin word “hospis,” which means host. It is often a nursing home or a place for the terminally ill. When someone refers to giving or having hospice care, they’re getting a holistic approach for patients who have a life expectancy of less than a year or those with only six months to live or are not expected to recover fully.
It’s a way for patients and their families to accept the painful truth of their condition. Its main goal is to prolong their lives while reducing physical discomfort, mental strain, and emotional problems. It usually starts when the illness has gotten to a point when it’s almost incurable or at the late stages.
Palliative Care VS. Hospice
Palliative care is best for anyone who has a life-threatening condition at any age and stage of a serious illness. It helps reduce the pain and symptoms of the patient’s sickness. On the other hand, hospice care is for those who are at the end-of-life stage. Anyone who is in hospice care can receive palliative care. However, anyone who is in palliative care can’t simply get hospice care.
What Is Palliative and Hospice Care For?
Palliative care has become a life-saver for some people and acted as a symptom relief for their illness and the side effects associated with treating it. Addressing the patients’ physical, mental, and psychological issues are included in hospice and palliative care.
It may be stressful for patients diagnosed with severe cases, such as cancer or organ failure, so they need to have the necessary support group to help them cope and give them hope for a better life even with a disease.
Who Can Provide These Treatments?
To help the patients manage their condition and still be able to live somewhat normal lives, here are the medical professionals that work together and offer people-centered services to help with palliative or hospice care:
- Professional doctors (can be neurologist, respiratory specialist, or psychiatrist)
- Social workers
- Physical therapists or Occupational therapists
- Dietitians or Nutritionists
Is It Important to Get Palliative or Hospice Care?
When it comes to the best treatments and procedures for patients, it’s essential to get all information about the illness and the doctors’ prognosis. Palliative care vs. hospice? It doesn’t matter. Everything is based on the patient’s judgment and decision and the situation they are in.
There are many benefits to getting palliative care, such as:
- Provides physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual care
- Helps the patients and their family understand the advantages and disadvantages of specific treatments
- Boosts the morale of those who are affected by illnesses
- Reduces unnecessary expenses through an agreed definitive treatment
- Symptoms management
Like palliative care, the patients and their families can receive thorough hospice care with benefits such as:
- 24-hour care or having a caretaker
- Bereavement support
- In-patient care
- Medical equipment, medicines, and supplies
- Speech therapy
- Nutritional or dietary changes
Getting the help you and your family need start with choosing between palliative vs. hospice care. Knowing additional information about the type of care you and your loved ones need can give you peace of mind with the difficult decisions that need to be made.
About The Author
As a professional writer at many renowned websites Krizzia Paolyn has covered a wide range of topics in many industries. Her knack for uncovering important truths and conducting thorough research on each topic she writes about has helped thousands of people across the world.