At Hospice of the North Coast, we offer both palliative care and hospice care, but it’s not always easy to understand the difference between the two. They both mean compassionate care to patients who have illnesses that may limit their lifespan, but they are two very different options.
Palliative care means working with a team of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to administer the comfort care patients need. Palliative care is available at any point in time, no matter what the prognosis or diagnosis. Palliative care is simply designed to help people live a more comfortable life. For diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, palliative care can be the key to being more comfortable and managing their disease better, so it doesn’t interfere with their lives.
Hospice care, however, is designed for those with a terminal illness and a prognosis of less than six months. Hospice care includes palliative care, but it’s often needed for more than palliative care is. It can help address a patient’s physical and emotional needs. Hospice teams can even help with daily activities like administering medications, bathing, and dressing. While full time caregivers aren’t usually involved, unless the patient is in a facility like Pacifica house, it is designed to help support caregivers as fully as possible.
Both hospice and palliative care are the way forward when you have a loved one who is seriously ill. To learn more about how Hospice of North Coast can help, contact us today.