Hospice Vs Palliative Care. What’s the Difference?
Hospice Vs Palliative Care
If you or someone from your family is suffering from a severe illness, you might have heard about relieving pain. This idea is often associated with two types of terminologies. You might have heard them for sure – Palliative Care and Hospice Care.
The purpose of Hospice and Palliative care is to relieve the pain and symptomatology of any serious illness. Both of these therapies addresses all social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patients. Now, you must be wondering about the differences between these two types. So lets have a look!
Hospice Care is the type of care that provides comfort and pain relief without the curative intent. And it becomes necessary when the illness becomes incurable, and the physician does not suggest any drug therapy for the rest of the few months that the patient is left with.
The Hospice Care solutions are as follows:
- Manage the symptoms of the disease
- Help in pain management by different therapies
- No disruptions to the natural processes
On the other hand, Palliative Care is with the intent of curing the disease as well as relieving its symptoms. Usually, diagnosis is followed by palliative care that continues during the treatment as well.
Some of the solutions of Palliative Care are as follows:
- Efficient and curative management of disease symptoms
- Management of pain with painkillers or other therapies
- Help to navigate, choose, and alter the treatment options
- Add to the already undergoing therapy
- Provision of an enhanced quality of life
Since Palliative Care and Hospice essentially serve the same purposes, some of their characteristics are quite similar.
- Both Hospice and palliative care provide comfort and care
- They both are helpful in reducing stress
- They provide physician and psychological relief
- Hospice and palliative care relieve the symptoms of a disease
- They make the obvious easier to accept and survive
Differences Between Hospice and Palliative Care
Some of the minor differences that make hospice and palliative care distinctive from each other are as follows:
|Questions?||Hospice Care||Palliative Care|
|Why do you need the care?||Hospice care is usually required for patients with terminal Illness that has a life expectancy of only a few months or so. A physician is often consulted, and his verdict is considered necessary while deciding the need for hospice care for the patient.||Palliative care seeks to relieve symptoms of a long-term chronic illness. The disease does not have to be life-limiting.|
|What are the goals of care?||The goal of hospice care is to relieve the debilitating or painful symptoms of the terminal disease. The symptomatology does not seem to be cured, and the only way out is to help the patients manage it.
Hospice care does not cure the disease; it only helps the patient manage it.
|The goal of palliative care is to seek curative treatment in addition to offering ways to relieve painful and debilitating symptoms.
Therefore, it cures the disease as well as helping the patient manage it effectively.
|Eligibility Criteria||Only patients with a life expectancy of six months or fewer, can receive this care after prior consultation with the physician.||Anyone can receive palliative care regardless of one’s age and life expectancy.|
|Organizations||Certain Hospice Organizations are present outside the hospitals that provide hospice care therapies to patients with a terminal illness.||Many hospitals, hospice centers, nursing facilities, and healthcare clinics are present that offer the palliative care that the patient requires.|
|Service Providers||Hospice care is provided by a team of professionals consisting of a medical physician, nurse, social worker, volunteer, and a health aide.||Any doctor, nurse, healthcare worker, therapist, and spiritual counselor can provide palliative care to the patient.|
|Reason for Choosing||Patients sometimes no longer want to receive painful treatments that will not improve or extend their life. Therefore, they shift to a more relieving option.||Sometimes, as a result of medical treatment, the patients develop symptoms such as pain, fatigue, nausea, and stress. In order to relieve these symptoms, the patients often prefer palliative care.|
|Coverage||Medicare, Medicaid, and some private insurance companies cover the hospice care costs.
It includes everything ranging from pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, nursing, social services, and other care services.
|Medicare and some private insurance companies cover palliative care.
Generally, Medicare Part B and Medicaid cover some types of palliative care. However, you might have to pay for some treatments and medications.
Can You Get Curative Treatments with Hospice and Palliative Care?
In order to qualify for Hospice Care, you should be certified by a physician with a life expectancy of 6 months or less. In fact, a patient is only considered appropriate for Hospice care if none of the treatments work to improve his condition. Therefore, the whole emphasis is providing comfort to the patient by relieving his pain and other symptoms.
On the other hand, palliative care often complements and supports other treatment options. So the patient can continue all other treatments without worrying about their interference with the palliative treatment.
Misconceptions and Myths about Hospice Care
Some people have this idea that hospice hastens your death. However, that is totally an unpopular proposition. The only goal of hospice care is to improve the quality of the remaining life of the patient. In this way, he/she might enjoy a good time with their families and friends. Moreover, it helps to relieve them from the misery of pain and suffering.
In some cases, the enhanced mood of the patient has led to an extended life, but there is no point in decreasing his life expectancy. During hospice care, if a patient shows signs of recovery, he is immediately shifted to regular medical treatment.
Hospice and Palliative Care plays a very significant role in improving the patient’s quality of life. Some people begin responding to medications and treatment strategies when they feel relaxed and happy. Moreover, such therapies make the patients enjoy their life while managing their disease symptoms.
The major benefit of such care plans is that they do not let anxiety and depression trigger the patients. Talk to your doctor before deciding on the type of care you or your loved one needs.
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