When a person you love is struggling with a serious health condition, you might feel helpless. You want to do everything you can to alleviate the discomfort, fear, or pain, but are not sure where to start. One of the best ways you can help is simply by learning whatever you can in regards to the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options their healthcare provider presents.
In particular, you may hear the terms “palliative care” or “hospice care,” and sometimes both interchangeably. What exactly is the difference between palliative care and hospice care? And are either of them suitable for your loved one?
Our care providers have the essential information needed to learn more about these two options. This will help you make a well-informed decision about whether one or the other is appropriate for your family member.
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care can be introduced to ease symptoms at any stage during a significant illness, regardless of life expectancy or any other outcomes. The aim is to help a person better tolerate medical treatments and to increase recovery and healing.
Palliative care may be used in conjunction with other curative treatment plans. It is available for as long as it is necessary, depending on the type of insurance covering the expense. Some treatments and medications may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private health insurance plans. It’s important to ask questions about policy coverage and to learn about any potential out of pocket costs such as premiums, deductibles, copayments, etc.
What Is Hospice Care?
Like palliative care, hospice care is meant to provide comfort. However, the goal of hospice care changes from recovery-based treatment to enhancing quality of life close to the end of life. It is recommended when the physician certifies that life expectancy is six months or less.
It is essential to bear in mind that hospice care is not about dying; it’s about living as comfortably as possible. Hospice care provides relief from pain and other physical ailments, while offering spiritual and emotional help – both to the person receiving care and their family. Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance providers cover the cost for hospice.
What About Home Care?
Both hospice and palliative care can be offered within the comfort of a person’s home. A non-medical home care company, like Abby Senior Care, works side by side with the hospice or palliative care provider. The services we provide are an invaluable component of the person’s holistic care needs. Our care professionals can fill in the gaps between home health care visits to help with:
- Planning and preparing meals
- Tending to light housekeeping and laundry
- Looking out for and reporting any changes in condition
- Allowing family members to take much-needed breaks from care
- Providing companionship for conversations and any activities the person finds enjoyable or comforting
- Running errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- And more
If you’d like to talk to someone about what your family is facing during the emotional time surrounding the need for hospice or palliative care, contact us at 303-699-8840. We are here for you any time to listen and provide supportive solutions.