Understanding Hospice Care versus Palliative Care
July 13, 2019
Palliative (sounds like “pallative”) care is often an unknown treatment option. People dealing with a serious, often fatal illness may be referred by their doctor to palliative (pallative) care services or hospice. They are not the same sort of treatment, and in this article, we are going to outline the differences between them to help those who require hospice and/or palliative care services in the metro Atlanta area.
What do Atlanta Hospices Offer?
When a physician is treating a patient but does not expect them to recover from whatever condition is ailing them, they will usually refer them to Atlanta hospices. Generally, those transitioned to hospice are not likely to live longer than six months after the referral by the physician.
Hospice is often in-home care, but can also be received in a nursing home setting or even a hospital. It is provided by a hospice team that includes medical professionals such as the primary physician and nurses, but also therapists and others. There will usually be counselors, social workers, home health aides, and a reliable pharmacist, among others.
The team works hard to ensure that their patients are as comfortable and pain-free as possible, but they also help with emotional matters. The emotions that come to the surface, including grief, remorse, or even rage can be challenging to deal with, and Atlanta Hospices are there to help.
What is Palliative Care?
When someone requires palliative care, they are living with a severe illness, but it is one for which is more chronic and not yet terminal. At the very least, the condition is serious but has not become life-threatening.
The goal of palliative care is to focus on the symptoms of the condition and even side effects from treatment. It is complementary and not a replacement for other, traditional therapies. For example, a patient undergoing cancer treatment may live with ongoing nausea to the point of debilitation. Palliative care is meant to address nausea.
Patients receiving palliative care do not have to be “bed-bound,” and treatment can be done to make it easier to get around, work, or enjoy everyday living. Many people with chronic pain or illness combat depression, and palliative care addresses that, too.
The Most Fundamental Difference Between Atlanta Hospices and Palliative Care
Of course, if you are still unclear about the issue, it is best to look at it in a sort of summary statement: Palliative care manages symptoms and improves quality of life and comfort levels. It can be provided alongside aggressive treatment that seeks to cure a patient of a severe illness or condition and is an option at any stage of life. Hospice care is, fundamentally, for those with six or fewer months left to live. It is designed to allow a terminal patient the opportunity to live physically, spiritually, and mentally comfortably for the remainder of their life.
Choosing Hospice Care
If you believe it may be time for a loved one to receive hospice care, you may choose to begin with a talk with their primary physician. They often are the one to refer the patient to such care.
You may also call Inspire Hospice and Palliative Care directly for a free in-home consultation to learn more about eligibility and, if eligible, how services could support you or your loved one.
While it is challenging to face this point in a loved one’s life, it is comforting to know that such a diversity of care is readily available.
To speak with a nurse today, call Inspire at 404-537-3737.
Articles and Resource Topics
You can call us 24 hours a day,
7 days a week.
A Registered Nurse is available to answer your questions about hospice and palliative care services:
- Discuss your unique situation to determine how Inspire services can be tailored to care for you and your family
- Discuss insurance, Medicare and answer other concerns about eligibility, benefits, and other care options
- Answer any questions you have about comfort care