caregiver comforting happy senior lady

When a person you love is dealing with a serious medical condition, you may feel helpless. You want to do everything you can to alleviate the fear, pain, or discomfort, but are unsure what you can do. One of the best ways you can help is by learning whatever you can about the prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment plans the doctor presents.

Most notably, you may hear the terms “hospice care” or “palliative care,” and sometimes both interchangeably. What is hospice care, what is palliative care, and what is the difference between the two? And are either of them right for your loved one?

Our care team has the important information you need to learn more about both these options. This will help you make a more informed decision about whether one or the other is 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, in spite of life expectancy or other outcomes. The aim is to help a person better tolerate treatments and also to promote recovery and healing.

Palliative care can be used in combination with other therapeutic treatment options. It is available for as long as it is necessary, depending on the type of insurance covering the expense. Some medications and treatments may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance plans. It’s important to ask questions about policy coverage and to learn about any potential out of pocket costs such as premiums, copayments, deductibles, etc.

What Is Hospice Care?

Like palliative care, hospice care is meant to provide comfort. However, the objective of hospice care shifts from recovery-based treatment to enhancing quality of life close to the end of life. It is recommended after the physician certifies that life expectancy is six months or less.

It is importantly to be aware that hospice care is not about dying; it is about living as comfortably as possible. Hospice care provides relief from pain as well as other physical ailments, while providing spiritual and emotional support – both to the person receiving care and their loved ones. Medicaid, Medicare, and most private insurance cover the cost for hospice.

What About In-Home Care?

Both hospice and palliative care can be offered within the comfort of the person’s home. A non-medical care provider, like Hearts at Home In-Home Care, works side by side with the hospice or palliative care provider. The services we offer are a crucial component to the person’s holistic care needs. Our care professionals can fill in the gaps between home health care visits to assist with:

  • Watching for and reporting any changes in condition
  • Enabling loved ones to take much-needed breaks from care
  • Providing companionship for conversations and any activities the individual finds enjoyable or comforting
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Taking care of laundry and light housekeeping
  • 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 palliative or hospice care, call us at 913-440-4209 or contact us online. We’re here for you any time to listen and offer supportive solutions.