Understanding the Differences Between Palliative Care and Hospice

Differences Between Palliative Care and Hospice
Learn the differences between palliative care and hospice.

Palliative care services are on the rise in hospitals and outpatient facilities, but many individuals and families don’t understand the differences between palliative care and hospice and so they miss the opportunities palliative care can provide. Some individuals are hesitant to use palliative care, erroneously believing that it’s the same as hospice. In fact, palliative care is a great option for people who are managing chronic health conditions and can significantly improve a senior’s quality of life.

While hospice offers tailored care for those in the last six months of life, palliative care focuses on the comfort of individuals dealing with serious health issues. Anyone can utilize palliative care without forgoing curative treatment, and palliative care prioritizes not only physical wellbeing, but emotional and spiritual health as well. Palliative care experts provide guidance through difficult medical decisions, recommend medications and therapies to help ease pain, and connect individuals in their care with chaplains as needed.

While palliative care has only been an approved medical specialty since 2007, now more than 70% of hospitals offer palliative care services. Some hospitals even offer outpatient palliative care so that patients can receive treatment and guidance in the comfort of their own homes. Patients and their families have benefitted from connecting with medical professionals who prioritize comfort.

Those who utilize palliative care benefit from tailored medications, a listening ear to help them identify, name, and manage symptoms, and supportive professionals like social workers and therapists to help them navigate the treatment process. Crucially, palliative care helps patients and families weigh complex medical decisions, ensuring that they make the most informed, compassionate choices regarding care.

Palliative care also helps lessen the strain on the healthcare system and is more cost-effective. Individuals who choose palliative care have fewer emergency hospitalizations and fewer unnecessary invasive procedures. As the Affordable Care Act and Medicare shift away from a fee-for-service model, palliative care is becoming more accessible. By choosing palliative care, many seniors are becoming more empowered to make educated decisions about their own treatment and receive care in the place they are most comfortable: home.

Nightingale Homecare can help seniors with serious and chronic illnesses live more comfortably at home, offering both non-medical and medical private home care. Our hand-picked highly-trained caregivers are happy to provide a number of in-home services, including:

  • Companionship and conversation
  • Help around the house
  • Assistance with personal care
  • Medication reminders
  • Transportation to outings, social events, and doctor’s visits
  • And many other essential services to help your loved one thrive

If you’d like to learn more about our care services for home health in Scottsdale and the surrounding areas, or schedule a free in-home consultation, contact us online or give us a call at (602) 504-1555.  We look forward to offering your loved one the compassionate and professional services he or she deserves.