When someone you love is struggling with a serious health issue, you may feel helpless. You want to do everything you can to alleviate the pain, discomfort, or fear, but are unsure where to start. One of the most effective ways you can assist is simply by learning everything you can in regards to the prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment plans the doctor presents.
In particular, you might hear the terms “hospice care” or “palliative care,” and sometimes both interchangeably. What exactly are the differences between hospice and palliative care services? And are either of them appropriate for your loved one?
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care can be introduced to help ease symptoms at any point during a critical illness, regardless of life expectancy or other outcomes. The goal is to help a person better tolerate treatments and to enhance recovery and healing.
Palliative care may be used in combination with other therapeutic treatment plans. It is available for as long as it is needed, depending on the type of insurance covering the expense. Some treatments and medications may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance plans. It’s important to ask questions about policy coverage and to learn about any potential out of pocket costs such as copayments, premiums, deductibles, etc.
What Is Hospice Care?
Like palliative care, hospice care is meant to provide comfort. However, the purpose of hospice care shifts from recovery-based treatment to enhancing quality of life near the end of life. It is recommended if the physician determines that life expectancy is six months or less.
It is important to bear in mind that hospice care is not about dying; it is about living as comfortably as possible. Hospice care offers relief from pain and other physical ailments, while offering spiritual and emotional support – both to the person receiving care and their family. Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance providers cover the cost for hospice.
How About Home Care?
Both hospice and palliative care can be provided in the comfort of the person’s home. A home care company, like Live Free Home Health Care, works in tandem with the hospice or palliative care provider. The services we offer are an invaluable component of the person’s holistic care needs. Our care professionals can fill in the gaps between home health care visits to help with:
- Looking out for and reporting any changes in condition
- Allowing loved ones to take much-needed breaks from care
- Providing companionship for conversations and any activities the individual finds comforting or enjoyable
- Planning and preparing meals
- Tending to light housekeeping and laundry
- Running errands, such as picking up prescriptions and groceries
- And much more
If you would like to speak with someone about what your family is facing during the emotional time surrounding the need for hospice or palliative care, contact us at 603-217-0149. We are here for you any time to listen and offer supportive solutions.