caregiver comforting happy senior lady

When someone you love is struggling with a serious health issue, you might feel helpless. You want to do everything you can to ease the discomfort, fear, or pain, but are unsure where to begin. One of the most effective ways you can help is by learning whatever you can regarding the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options the doctor presents.

In particular, you might hear the terms “palliative care” or “hospice care,” and sometimes both interchangeably. Exactly what is the difference between hospice and palliative care? And are either of them right for your loved one?

Our caregivers have the important information you require to learn more about these two options. This can help you make an educated decision about whether one or the other is appropriate for your loved one.

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care can be introduced to help relieve symptoms at any stage during a significant illness, no matter life expectancy or any other outcomes. The goal is to help a person better tolerate treatments and to increase recovery and healing.

Palliative care may be used along with other curative treatment options. It is available for as long as it is required, depending on the type of insurance covering the cost. Some medications and treatments may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private health insurance. It is important to ask questions about policy coverage, copayments, and deductibles.

What Is Hospice Care?

Similar to palliative care, hospice care is intended to provide comfort. However, the aim of hospice care changes from recovery-based treatment to enhancing quality of life near the end of life. It is recommended after the physician certifies that life expectancy is six months or less.

It is crucial to bear in mind that hospice care is not about dying; it’s about living as comfortably as possible. Hospice care offers relief from pain and other physical issues, while providing emotional and spiritual 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 the older adult’s home. A home care provider, like Compassionate Nursing Services, works in tandem with the hospice or palliative care provider. The services we provide are a pivotal component of the person’s holistic care needs. Our care providers can fill in the gaps between home health care visits to help with:

  • Watching for and reporting any changes in condition
  • Allowing family members to take much-needed time off from care
  • Offering companionship for conversations and any activities the person finds comforting or enjoyable
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Taking care of light housekeeping and laundry
  • Running errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
  • Plus much more

If you would like to speak to someone about the issues your family are facing during the emotional time surrounding the need for hospice or palliative care, contact us at 314-432-4312. We’re here for you any time to listen and offer supportive solutions.