When a loved one is dealing with a serious health issue, you may feel helpless. You want to do everything you can to alleviate the discomfort, fear, or pain, but are not sure where to begin. One of the best ways you can help is by learning everything you can regarding the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options the doctor presents.
In particular, you may hear the terms “palliative care” or “hospice care,” and sometimes both interchangeably. What exactly is the difference between hospice and palliative care? And is hospice or palliative care right for your loved one?
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care can be introduced to ease symptoms at any point during a significant illness, irrespective of life expectancy or any other outcomes. The aim is to help a person better tolerate medical treatments and also to promote recovery and healing.
Palliative care can be used in conjunction with other therapeutic treatment options. It is available for as long as it is necessary, depending on the type of insurance covering the cost. Some treatments and medications may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private health insurance plans. It is important to ask questions about policy coverage and to learn about any out of pocket costs such as deductibles, copayments, premiums, etc.
What Is Hospice Care?
Like palliative care, hospice care is meant to provide comfort. However, the purpose of hospice care shifts from recovery-based treatment to improving quality of life close to the end of life. It is recommended if the physician determines that life expectancy is six months or less.
It’s crucial to bear in mind that hospice care is not about dying; it is about living as comfortably as possible. Hospice care offers relief from pain as well as other physical ailments, while providing emotional and spiritual support – both to the person receiving care and their family. Medicaid, Medicare, and most private insurance providers cover the cost for hospice.
What About Home Care?
Both hospice and palliative care can be offered in the comfort of the person’s home. A non-medical home care professional, like Home With You Senior Care, works side by side with the palliative or hospice care provider. The services we provide are an invaluable component of the person’s holistic care needs. Our care providers can fill in the gaps between home health care visits to assist with:
- Watching for and reporting any changes in condition
- Enabling loved ones to take much-needed breaks from care
- Providing companionship for conversations and any activities the person finds enjoyable or comforting
- Planning and preparing meals
- Tending to light housekeeping and laundry
- Running errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- And much more
If you would like to speak with someone about what your family is facing during the emotional time surrounding the need for palliative or hospice care, contact us at 410-756-0959. We are here for you any time to listen and provide supportive solutions.