The Major Differences Between Hospice Care and Palliative Care

Palliative care and hospice care are often used in discussions about treatment options for patients with chronic diseases. And even though there are some similarities between the two care types, there are significant contrasts between them. Highlighted below is a greater explanation about the differences between the two and how you and your family can utilize each to help your loved one.

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a type of treatment that works in conjunction with regular medication. This treatment prioritizes reducing or eliminating pain from a chronic disease. The ultimate goal is to increase the quality of life for the patient.

Patients who often undergo palliative care are those with cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease, among other conditions. And while palliative care is used to help treat those with serious illnesses, at this stage of the disease, patients are considered to have a non-life-threatening illness.

One of the many benefits of palliative care is that it can be started as soon as your loved one is diagnosed. This helps to provide a variety of services to help them stay healthier longer.

What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is a bit different. While this type of care is also meant to help ease symptoms of illnesses, it is designed to treat patients who may have a shortened lifespan.

To undergo hospice care, your loved one’s doctor must assert that they believe your loved one has six months or less left. And while getting this diagnosis may be difficult, it can also provide an opportunity for you and your family to discuss how your loved one wishes to live out this period and plan their farewell.

Where Does Hospice Care Take Place?

Hospice care can take place in many kinds of settings. You and your family should decide which type of hospice services and locations would be best for your loved one’s situation. You can decide to have hospice care at home or even in a hospice or long-term care facility.

Ultimately, hospice care means respecting and honoring the life of an irreplaceable individual who will leave their mark on this world and your family’s memories. Hopefully, having a better understanding of the differences between palliative and hospice care can help you and your family make the best decisions for your loved one.

At Hospice of the Piedmont, we offer both hospice and palliative care. We strive to create an environment in which your loved one is treated with the utmost dignity and respect. For more information about our services and how we can help, we invite you to contact us.