When someone you love is living 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 uncertain where to start. One of the best ways you can assist is by learning what you can regarding the prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment plans the doctor presents.
In particular, you might hear the terms “palliative care” or “hospice care,” and sometimes both interchangeably. What is the difference between hospice and palliative care? And are either of them suitable for your family member?
Our care providers have the information you need to understand more about both of these options. This can help you make a more informed decision about whether one or the other is right for a loved one.
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care may be introduced to ease symptoms at any point during a serious illness, regardless of life expectancy or other outcomes. The aim is to help a person better tolerate treatments and also to promote recovery and healing.
Palliative care can be used jointly 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 might be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance plans. It is important to ask questions about policy coverage and to learn about any potential out of pocket costs such as copays, deductibles, and premiums.
What Is Hospice Care?
Like palliative care, hospice care is intended to provide comfort. However, the aim of hospice care shifts from recovery-based treatment to enhancing quality of life near the end of life. It is recommended if the doctor certifies that life expectancy is six months or less.
It is crucial to note that hospice care is not about dying; it’s about living as comfortably as possible. Hospice care offers relief from pain as well as other physical issues, while providing emotional and spiritual assistance – both to the person receiving care and their loved ones. Medicaid, Medicare, and most private insurance cover the cost for hospice.
What About Home Care?
Both hospice and palliative care can be provided within the comfort of the person’s home. A non-medical care provider, like Absolute Companion Care, works in tandem with the hospice or palliative care provider. The services we provide are a valuable component of the person’s holistic care needs. Our care providers can fill in the gaps between home health care visits to help with:
- Providing companionship for conversations and any activities the person finds comforting or enjoyable
- Planning and preparing meals
- Taking care of laundry and light housekeeping
- Watching for and reporting any changes in condition
- Enabling loved ones to take much-needed breaks from care
- Running errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- And much more
If you’d like to speak with someone about the issues your family member is facing during the emotional time surrounding the need for hospice or palliative care, contact us at 410-357-9640. We are here for you any time to listen and provide supportive solutions.