As these words are sometimes used interchangeably, there can sometimes be a great deal of confusion between palliative care and hospice care. As a matter of clarifying this right from the beginning, hospice care is not the same thing as palliative care. These are very similar services, however, there are differences between them because they serve patients with different needs.
The purpose of this article is to inform readers about the major differences between palliative care, and hospice care.
What is the Difference
It is important for you to know which type of care is administered during which stage of the disease if you want to understand the difference between palliative care and hospice care. In general, palliative care is given to patients at the beginning to mid-stages of a disease. However, it can also be given at the end stage of a disease depending on the patient's preference. In contrast, hospice care is provided to patients at the end stage of a disease when given a prognosis of 6 months or less.
So if for example, you suffer from an illness and it is detected at an early stage or at a mid stage, then generally you will receive palliative care, since it is a service that is also included with curative treatment. Basically, palliative care is a way to manage pain and symptoms as a disease progresses, along with the side effects that may occur from curative treatment.
As a general rule hospice care is considered at the end stage of a disease when treatment options have all been exhausted and have shown no signs of improvement. Unlike palliative care, curative treatments are not allowed in hospice because if they do not slow the progression of the disease, they may be counterproductive and even cause more harm than good.
As you are receiving hospice care, all the care focuses on helping you improve your quality of life and to ensure that you are totally comfortable. Having said that, they do not allow curing treatments; the primary focus is to manage patients' pain and symptoms, which is normally done through the use of medicine and therapy.
Wrap it up
When you receive hospice care too early, you will not be able to take advantage of possible curative treatments and when you receive it too late, you may miss out on the beneficial effects hospice care may offer early on. I hope that this article has been helpful to you in understanding the differences between the two. It is vital when deciding on the proper type of care at the right time. I would like to thank you for reading this article and hope you have found some value from it. Please share it with your friends and family.