When you or a loved one is in poor health condition, the first thing we want to do is to help them or ourselves. We should be informed about the illness, treatments, and healthcare industry’s options. The more we know, the more we can help.
Both hospice care and palliative care have similarities between them. They both assist patients with severe illnesses and need specific requirements to be eligible for the program.
So, what is the main difference between them?
As stated above, they are both solutions for patients with terminal illnesses. One of the essential characteristics of both options is that the individual’s life expectancy is not very long. You can learn more about this topic in our blog titled: “What are the criteria for Hospice Care?”
Both forms of care can extend the individual’s life expectancy. At the same time, they both focus on making the patient feel better, but here is how Hospice and Palliative Care approach the issue entirely differently.
This alternative offers to take care of the patient at home in most cases (although it can be in a clinic or other healthcare facilities) without treatment to heal them. It does not offer medicine to cure the illness but to improve the current patient’s state to make the situation more manageable for them and the family, reducing pain and discomfort.
On the other hand, Palliative Care does treat the patient to save the patient’s life. The main objective is a treatment designed to treat and even cure the illness.
Palliative Care allows patients to improve their current state according to the treatment provided. It is essential to point out that palliative care could transition to hospice care if the doctors determine that the treatment is not working and life expectancy is below six months.
Both care programs include medicine, therapy, nurses, and even special equipment to keep the patient as comfortable as possible.
What is the best option?
You might be wondering if palliative care tries to cure the illness and hospice care the other does not, why would someone choose hospice care? The answer is short, it is optional, and in many cases, the patient is the one that selects which alternative. Some patients will try to fight until the end or, after a point, will accept that medicine isn’t helping and choose to go peacefully.
Over the last years, there has been an increasing amount of Hospice Care patients because it is a way to make the individual feel as good and comfortable as possible when approaching their final days. It also makes them feel good because they are the ones that are making the decision. So they don’t feel frustrated or hopeless; they know they still have control over their lives. This option also allows loved ones to say goodbye.
Another critical point is that Medicare offers both hospice and palliative care.
At Ascend, we offer hospice care. You can know more about hospice by reading our blogs and website. You can contact us if you have further questions regarding this health care option.