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Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

May 16, 2019
Hospice

Assisted living facilities exist to provide a safe and caring environment for those who can no longer care for themselves due to old age, disability, or disease. Both palliative and hospice care aim to provide comfort and relaxation to people suffering from serious illness, but are distinctive in that they provide their services at different stages of the disease.

Four hands held in tandem, as a concept image for end of life care

Palliative Care

Palliative care focuses on helping people diagnosed with serious illnesses to feel better, beginning at diagnosis, during treatment, or at the final stages of the disease. Caregivers take action to prevent and alleviate symptoms of illness and side effects of treatment. Patients commonly will receive a diagnosis of cancer, lung disease, kidney failure, heart disease, HIV/AIDs, dementia, or ALS before requesting palliative care services. Most often, this branch of care is offered in a hospital or long-term care facility.

Types of Caregivers

The professionals available to assist in the palliative care of patients are:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Dieticians
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Massage therapists
  • Clerics

Methods of Care

Palliative care provides the following services to patients in order to meet their individual needs:

  • Pain management
  • Administration of medication
  • Counseling
  • Support groups
  • Physical therapy
  • Nutritional guidance
  • Talk-therapy
  • Spiritual guidance

Hospice Care

In contrast to palliative care, hospice care is most often offered to those whose illnesses are terminal, who only have a few months to one year left to live. Where palliative care strives to treat  and remedy the symptoms, hospice is more concerned with managing them. The goal of hospice is to provide a calm and peaceful environment for terminally ill adults to be as comfortable as possible in their remaining months. Care can be offered at the person’s home or at a long-term nursing facility.

Types of Caregivers

The professionals available to assist in the care of hospice patients are:

  • Personal physicians
  • Nurses
  • Medical directors
  • Social workers
  • Home health aides
  • Counselors
  • Speech therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Trained volunteers
  • Clerics

Methods of Care

The hospice team provides different services to patients in order to meet their individual needs:

  • Managing pain and easing symptoms
  • Administering medication
  • Teaching family members how to care for the patient
  • Offering talk-therapy to assist patients with the emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial aspects of dying
  • Providing counseling and bereavement care to surviving friends and family members

Kenwood Care provides assisted living and hospice care in Dayton, MD. We have convenient locations throughout Howard County and are dedicated to maintaining a healthy and comfortable environment for the elderly and those who are in need of specialized care. Contact us to set up a tour of one of our facilities, or to request more information about our services today.

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