What is Palliative Care vs Hospice Care

Gentle Shepherd In Home Senior Care Colorado Springs

Some people use the terms palliative care and hospice care interchangeably, but there are some distinctions between the two though both provide comfort treatment. Palliative care is typically provided to people with a serious illness, who still desire life-extending treatment or services such as Physical or Occupational Therapy. Hospice care is provided to those with terminal illnesses. A physician can determine if someone can benefit from hospice care, usually when the patient is expected to pass away within six months, or less.

If you or other family caregivers are currently caring for mom or caring for dad at home, it’s important you know their wishes for end-of-life arrangements. Many seniors do not want to die in hospitals, receiving unwanted treatments. An important part of elderly in-home care is learning how your relative feels about life-extending treatments and where they wish to spend their final days. In some cases, the senior is unable to make these decisions, then a family member or guardian must decide on their behalf.

Who needs palliative care? 

Palliative care can be very supportive for those suffering from a serious illness such as cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Palliative care can be provided at any time after diagnosis, though prompt care is beneficial for the patient. This kind of care will help relieve the worst symptoms of the disease, and improve quality of life for the afflicted person. The skilled professionals delivering this kind of care can oversee the full spectrum of care and medications being provided and help patients make the best choices regarding their future care.

Who needs hospice care? 

Hospice care is designed to help make patients comfortable and enhance their quality of life when they are facing the end-of-life. At this point, either the disease cannot be cured or interrupted, or the patient has opted to stop or decline life prolonging treatment. Like palliative care, hospice care keeps a patient as comfortable and pain-free as possible. The difference: everyone involved is made aware no additional treatment will be sought.  Ideally there is considerable support provided to clarify an individual’s wishes and needs, to guide quality conversations and family interactions.  There is also ongoing grief recovery support provided to the family as needed.

It’s important that a person receive hospice care as soon as all hope of recovery has been lost.  This provides several months of high-quality care and maximizes quality of life during that time. It is so important to understand what your elderly loved one really desires in the way of care, and then follow through with their wishes.

What is Hospice Support?

Hospice support from a Home Care Company provides additional care for your senior loved one beyond the care from hospice providers.  Examples of hospice support may include: light housekeeping and laundry, personal care assistance, and grocery shopping and meal preparation.  In addition to managing the basic needs of an individual, a caregiver also provides companionship and a consistent advocate. 

At Gentle Shepherd Home Care, we have many caregivers with extensive experience supporting seniors in hospice.  We provide additional care and hospice support to keep your loved one comfortable. If you would like to learn more about in home care and hospice support, please contact us or request a care assessment.




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