Palliative Care VS Hospice Care | What’s the Difference?

If a loved one of yours has been suffering from serious illness or sickness, then you might have thought about opting for either elderly companion care in the UK that also offers palliative care or hospice care. Although both are aimed at providing comfort and relief to an individual, both still differ in numerous ways.

This article is going to tell you all you need to know about palliative care and hospice care. And the difference between the two.

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a common program that aims and works to ease an individual’s pain and help with other issues related to an illness. 

This type of program is more suitable if your illness is serious, but not considered to be life-threatening for now. Palliative care helps those individuals who are suffering from symptoms of serious illnesses, such as cancer, kidney disease, or AIDs, and works to enhance a patient’s current care by focusing on their quality of life.

However, it is important to know that palliative medicine doesn’t necessarily replace other treatments that are needed in case a person is suffering from serious illnesses. It’s more of an addiction that will help the patient and his/her family member deal with numerous things such as nausea, pain, or shortness of breath.

Palliative care can address numerous matters such as those illnesses that make it harder to work with. Get around with, and those illnesses that can even cause depression and numerous other mental health concerns. 

Palliative care is successful in addressing such issues. Even with diseases and illnesses that are said to be fatal, palliative care is significantly helpful to live as active a life as possible. Furthermore, apart from improving quality of life and helping with symptoms of illnesses. Palliative care aims to help patients understand their choices for medical treatment.

Palliative care can be provided in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient palliative care clinics, and numerous other specialized clinics. It can even be provided at home, along with other family is also important to know that insurance may cover palliative care.

What Is Hospice Care?

Hospice care is appropriate for those patients who have learned from their doctors. That they are not expected to get better or recover from their illness. Thus, hospice care is all about easing the patient’s pain. Making them feel more comfortable, and helping families prepare for the end of life.

At some point during a fatal illness or disease, it may not be possible to cure it. Or, in some cases, the patient may choose not to undergo certain painful treatments due to numerous reasons. 

Therefore, hospice is designed for such a situation. The patient who has opted for hospice care understands that the illness they are suffering from may not be responding well. To medical attempts to cure it or to slow the disease’s progress. 

Hospice Care

Hence, hospice care is generally targeted at those patients who have, more or less, 6 months to live. Most commonly, such patients have their professional caregivers look after them at home, along with their family members.

It is also important to remember that pausing treatment of an individual to cure an illness does not necessarily mean discontinuing the entire treatment. Let’s take an example of a person suffering from cancer. In case a cancer patient is not responding well to chemotherapy. And the patient chooses to opt for hospice care, then the chemotherapy will stop. However, other medical care will continue if it is helpful to the patient.

Hospice care can either be opted from a specialized centre or nursing homes and hospitals. Moreover, it is important to know that hospice care does not only involve doctors and nurses. But also the patient’s family members, the clergy, counsellors. And other social workers that can be part of the grief of dying and emotions that often come with it.

Differences Between Palliative Care and Hospice Care

The goal of hospice care is to manage the pain of a patient, as well as other symptoms to improve their quality of life with the time they still have left. On the other hand, the goal of palliative care is to help patients seek numerous treatments to cure their illness or prolong their life while getting medical help to manage their pain, as well as other symptoms.

If we talk about eligibility, only those individuals with serious and long-term sickness can opt for palliative care. However, only patients with a terminal illness whose doctor states. That they have less than 6 months to live, can opt for hospice care.

Palliative care

Palliative care generally involves symptom relief of patients and also helping them make important medical and treatment decisions. Moreover, palliative care also provides emotional, spiritual, as well as financial support, to the patient and their loved ones. However, hospice care, on the other hand, helps to make important end-of-life decisions, along with emotional, spiritual, and financial support.

When we talk about palliative care, the patient can still get curative and life-prolonging treatments. But, if we talk about hospice care. The patient must stop curative and life-prolonging treatments to qualify for hospice.

Furthermore, a patient can receive palliative care as soon as they receive a diagnosis. However, a patient can receive hospice care when an illness or sickness is terminal or life-limiting. Hospice care is only available to patients who are toward the end of their life. This is an open option only to those who do not have a cure or decide to forego further life-prolonging treatment.

The reason why patients choose palliative care is to seek relief from pain, fatigue, nausea or stress, or other symptoms that may come with their disease or might be the side effect of their treatment.  

If we talk about hospice care, only those patients opt for this type of care who have decided not to go through painful or difficult treatments that may or may not improve or extend their life due to fatal illnesses.