Most skilled nursing facilities offer hospice and palliative care for their residents. These two types of care ultimately aim to help people be comfortable while enduring an illness or life-threatening condition, so there is quite a bit of overlap between the two. There are differences, however.
Put very simply, the primary difference between hospice and palliative care is the end goal of the treatment. Hospice care is reserved for those who can—or should—no longer endure curative medical treatments (i.e. treatments that aim to cure a disease rather than simply treat symptoms). Palliative care, on the other hand, can involve curative treatment alongside symptom and pain management.
In a general sense, palliative care includes any form of treatment that manages pain, discomfort, and other symptoms of a disease or condition. It can be administered to anyone, including those who are still receiving curative treatment, and is often handled in a medical facility. As such, it is usually covered by medical insurance.
Hospice care can be considered a form of palliative treatment, though it is reserved for those who will no longer receive curative treatments. Thus, its purpose is primarily to ease the suffering of those facing a terminal illness. For example, if a senior has been receiving chemotherapy treatments, and if those treatments would be just as life-threatening as the cancer they are designed to cure, then hospice care would likely be the ideal course.
It should be noted that hospice care is not about giving up, nor is it a death sentence. The purpose is to help put people and their loved ones at ease as much as possible in the face of terminal illness. It goes beyond simple pain management—patients receive emotional, social, and spiritual assistance as well.
Seeking Palliative and Hospice Care
The best palliative treatment is handled with care, respect, and skill, thus ensuring you or your loved one is cared for in a dignified way. Senior Care Centers offers high-quality palliative and hospice care that focuses on preserving dignity and independence. To learn more, contact us today.