Palliative Care vs. Hospice: Explore the Key Differences

November 17, 2020


When your loved ones suffer from severe ailments, you must have come across the terms palliative care and hospice. Palliative care and hospice are popular medical specialties that offer support to people of different ages with long-term and serious illnesses. They are especially helpful for people suffering from heart failure, cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, liver and kidney diseases, and organ failures.

However, most people have a lot of confusion about the two. While both palliative care and hospice aim to provide relief and comfort to the patients, there are significant differences between them. Here are some of the key differences that will help you understand both the medical specialties better.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice: Kinds of Care Involved

Palliative care is a type of comfort care provided to individuals with or without the intent of cure. On the other hand, hospice care is the comfort care provided without any curative intent. Palliative care helps patients feel better physically, spiritually, and emotionally while availing the treatment for illnesses.

It may include care such as counselling, pain relief, as well as nutrition advice. Hospice care mainly helps patients in feeling better and making the most of the time left with them. However, treatment of the illness is not included in hospice care. While palliative care helps in making vital treatment and medical conditions, hospice enables better end-of-life decisions.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice: Eligibility

If your loved ones suffer from long-term and serious illnesses, palliative care is the right option to choose irrespective of the stage. However, when a person is suffering from a terminal illness and has been determined to live for less than six months, hospice care is the ideal choice. To avail of palliative care, a person does not have to be nearing death. It can be availed at any time when a person is suffering from a serious illness.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice: People Involved

Palliative care is usually provided by the doctors as well as nurses who are proficient in the field. In addition to the experts, the doctor treating your illness can also provide you with palliative care. Many experts, such as counsellors, nutrition experts, social workers, and therapists, help provide palliative care.

On the other hand, when hospice care is provided at the hospice centers, hospitals, or other facilities, the care is delivered by the doctors, nurses, and other experts in the field. However, when hospice is offered at home, the patient's family members act as the main caregivers. But the hospice care experts offer the necessary help and support to the family members to ensure better comfort of the patients.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice: Place of Care

Palliative care is provided at the place where you are getting treated for your illness. It usually depends on where the patient is living. In most cases, palliative care is offered at hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices or outpatient clinics. However, it can also be provided at the home of the patient. On the other hand, hospice care is offered at the place which the patients call their home. It can be the hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, retirement center, hospice facility, or the patient's own home.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice: Payment Methods

Palliative care is mostly covered by different health insurance. However, the coverage amount may vary from patient to patient based on their medical condition. Medical insurances also cover hospice care. Medicaid, as well as Medicare, covers it. Regardless of the ability to pay, the patients are eligible for availing the hospice care.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice: Care Duration

The care duration of palliative care usually depends on insurance coverage and the patients’ treatments. On the other hand, hospice care is offered as long as the life expectancy requirements are met.

Understanding the difference between palliative care and hospice can help you in making the right choice. HOMECARE2GO® is a reputed platform that offers assistance to the people in finding the most appropriate palliative care and hospice care providers. You can leverage the platform to search for the top providers, compare the services, and choose the best ones that meet your specific requirements. With the professional care providers by your side, providing the required comfort to your loved ones becomes easy.

HOMECARE2GO<sup>®</sup> Media Team


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