END OF LIFE
Hospice Care vs. Palliative Care
Palliative Care and Hospice Care are similar in that both provide comfort care to patients.
Palliative Care focuses on relieving symptoms that are related to chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, COPD, AIDS, Alzheimer’s and other conditions. Palliative Care can be used at any stage of illness, not just the advanced or final stages.
Hospice Care is palliative by nature. Hospice Care is generally offered when a patient’s condition has progressed to a point where curative treatment is no longer beneficial or desired. Hospice Care supports the patient and their families while focusing on relieving symptoms and relieving pain. With Hospice Care, the goal is not to cure, but to promote comfort at the last stages of the patient’s life.
Hospice Care involves an interdisciplinary team approach to expert medical care, pain management, emotional support, and spiritual support. The patient’s particular needs and wishes are forefront in the approach undertaken.
The Hospice team is usually comprised of the patient’s personal doctor, a Hospice physician, nurses, home health aids, social workers, clergy and other counsellors, and trained volunteers. Hospice also provides speech, occupational, and physical therapists, if needed.
Hospice provides true compassionate care at a most vulnerable time in a person’s life. Hospice care provides dignity and respect for patients and their loved ones at a time when they need it the most.
For more information, contact the Hospice Hotline 1-800-658-8898 or www.nhpco.org
Or contact Maine Hospice Council (207) 626-0651 or www.mainehospicecouncil.org