Understanding the Relationship between Palliative Care and Hospice

Palliative care is not the same as hospice. These two programs work side by side to provide excellent care to persons with advanced disease.

Palliative care is an approach to care with the goal of preventing or relieving suffering (physical, psychological, social and spiritual) and improving quality of life for patients with advanced, progressive illness and their families. Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness, even from the time of diagnosis. And, it may be given at the same time as life prolonging treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  Palliative care services are covered the same as other health care services.

Hospice also provides a palliative approach to care. Unlike palliative care, hospice is reserved for terminally ill patients who no longer seek treatments to cure their illness and whose life expectancy is approximately six months or less if their illness runs its expected course. Hospice is a home care program that can help care for the patient in their home, be it their own home, a residential setting or nursing home. Hospice home care is reimbursed through Medicare and Medicaid and most private insurances.

Locate a Hospice Provider

“Hospice care provides palliative care,
but all palliative care is not hospice care.”


Both Palliative Care and Hospice:

  • Serve patients with a life threatening illness and their families
  • Affirm life and regard dying as a part of the life cycle
  • Intend neither to hasten nor postpone death
  • Offer holistic support to help patients live as actively as possible until death
  • Offer support to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their grief
  • Typically provided through a team approach to address the needs of patient’s and their families
  • Collaborate with other programs to support the patients and families
  •  Provide consultation to physicians, families and patients


Neither Palliative Care nor Hospice:

  • Is a place
  • Is a thing
  • Is a person
  • Is giving up

PATH:
Ministry Home Care and Affinity Visiting Nurses provide the ‘Palliative Approach to Treatment at Home” program for patients with advanced illness. To learn more: click here.

For location specific information please “click” on the site of your choice.

 

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