Palliative Care vs. Hospice
Palliative care, sometimes called supportive care, is a resource for anyone with a serious illness. It can be helpful at any stage of illness and many patients utilize these organized services from the point of diagnosis. A Palliative care team may include specialist doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, and religious leaders. Using a collaborative approach, the team aims to provide a patient and their family with medical, emotional, social and practical support throughout the illness. The teams helps manage symptoms, improve quality of life, and guide patients and families through their choices for curative medical treatments.
Palliative care is most often received in the home, apartment, or during a short-term hospital admission.
Palliative care is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurances if the patient meets criteria; check to see if insurance will cover your particular situation. Veterans may be eligible for Palliative care through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Hospice care is compassionate, end-of-life care designed for patients with a serious illness whom doctors think has only a short time to live, often less than 6 months. It is similar to Palliative care, in that it addresses the patient’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. However, in hospice, attempts to treat or cure the patient’s illness have stopped.
Hospice care can be offered at home or in a facility such as a nursing home, hospital, or even in a separate hospice center. It will depend on each patient’s situation and condition. If a patient receives hospice care at home, it may include help with daily activities such as administering medications, bathing, and dressing. However, day-to-day care is provided by family and friends and a willing, able and available caregiver must be in the home, unless alternate arrangements are made.
Hospice care is paid for in full by the Medicare Hospice Benefit and by Medicaid Hospice Benefit. Most insurances and the Veteran’s Administration also cover hospice services in full or with minimal co-pays. Center for Hospice Care is committed to providing hospice and Palliative care to anyone in the community who needs it and meets the qualifications, even if they are un-insured, under-insured or unable to pay.