When a loved one is struggling with a serious health issue, you may feel helpless. You want to do everything you can to ease the fear, pain, or discomfort, but are unsure of what you need to do. One of the best ways you can assist is by learning all that you can concerning the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options their healthcare provider presents.
Specifically, you may hear the terms “palliative care” or “hospice care,” and sometimes both interchangeably. What is the difference between hospice care and palliative care? And are either of them appropriate for your family member?
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care can be introduced to help ease symptoms at any stage during a critical illness, no matter life expectancy or any other outcomes. The goal is to help a person better tolerate treatments and to promote recovery and healing.
Palliative care may be used along with other therapeutic treatment options. It is available for as long as it is required, depending on the type of insurance covering the cost. Some treatments and medications may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance. It is important to ask questions about policy coverage and to learn about any potential out of pocket costs such as premiums, copayments, and deductibles.
What Is Hospice Care?
Similar to palliative care, hospice care is meant to provide comfort. However, the goal of hospice care shifts from recovery-based treatment to enhancing quality of life as a person approaches the end of life. It is recommended after 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 spiritual and emotional assistance – both to the person receiving care and their loved ones. Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance providers cover the cost for hospice.
How About Home Care?
Both palliative and hospice care can be provided in the comfort of the person’s home. A non-medical home care company, like At-Home Care Company, works in tandem with the hospice care or palliative care provider. The services we offer are an important component of the person’s holistic care needs. Our caregivers can fill in the gaps between home health care visits to assist with:
- Looking out for and reporting any changes in condition
- Enabling family members to take much-needed breaks from care
- Providing companionship for conversations and any activities the individual finds comforting or enjoyable
- Planning and preparing meals
- Running errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
- And much more
If you’d like to speak with someone about what your family is facing during the emotional time surrounding the need for hospice or palliative care, give us a call at 515-292-2650 or contact us online. We are here for you any time to listen and provide supportive solutions.