When a loved one is suffering from a serious condition or illness, the main concern is treatment and the ease of pain or discomfort. There are two phrases you may hear in regard to the next step.
One is palliative care, and the other one is hospice care. While they sound similar, there are some distinct differences between palliative care and hospice. They both provide comfort and assistance but are meant for two different stages of the illness.
Let’s look at palliative care vs hospice.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care treats the symptoms, and other issues associated with an illness or condition that is serious but are not considered life-threatening. Palliative care can be given at home or through an assisted living facility.
Examples would be kidney failure, cancer, certain heart conditions, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even more recently certain cases of COVID. It isn’t a treatment for those conditions, those remain the same per the doctor’s orders. Instead, St. Paul palliative care seeks to improve the quality of life during the treatment process.
Examples of Palliative Care
Palliative care works to treat the symptoms caused by both the disease and the treatment. This includes pain, nausea, breathing issues, insomnia, shortness of breath, and even depression or anxiety.
The care can include medicine but isn’t limited to that. It can also involve physical therapy, help with diet and nutrition, sessions with a counselor or pastor, and even help caregivers with daily tasks.
The range of palliative care is extremely wide and no one method fits all. Each patient has an individual plan designed to meet their specific symptoms.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice care offers many of the same services, but with one distinction. The difference between palliative care and hospice care is the life expectancy of the patient.
Hospice is introduced when the doctors determine the patient has a terminal condition and is not expected to recover. The care then focuses on bringing comfort and peaceful surroundings for their remaining time.
Examples of Hospice Care
Hospice in St. Paul serves both the patient and their family. The patient is made as comfortable as possible, either in their home or in familiar surroundings. This includes pain medication, help with sleeping, oxygen, and assistance with personal care.
Another valuable benefit of hospice extends to the family. It offers respite care for them to take a break and practice self-care themselves or run errands. It also provides access to spiritual or emotional guidance for the stress and pending bereavement.
St. Paul Palliative Care vs Hospice
We all want our loved ones to have the best care possible. Facing a serious illness or condition adds stress and uncertainty. Knowing the difference between palliative care and hospice will help you decide which option is best in your situation.
Here at Sholom, we partner with the Twin Cities area to support senior adults through all aspects of care. We welcome the opportunity to work with you and your family. For additional information, please contact us today.