November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and the perfect time to explain the difference between hospice and palliative care.
Most people are familiar with what hospice care is—care provided to those with a terminal diagnosis to ensure comfort and quality of care at end-of-life. This care is provided when there are no longer curative options, or the patient chooses not to pursue curative measures. However, most people don’t realize that hospice care can begin early and offer months of assistance and support—a benefit not often fully utilized.
Palliative care is typically introduced earlier in the course of a serious illness as patients are usually continuing to pursue aggressive treatments. Patients do not have to be terminal to qualify for palliative care. With a chronic, or life-threatening illness, like cancer, cardiac disease such as CHF, COPD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or ALS, quality of life can be dependent on managing symptoms, such as pain, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, depression, and difficulty sleeping. Palliative care helps to relieve or eliminate such symptoms.
The team at Journey Hospice in West Caldwell embraces the philosophy that quality of life matters most. Facing a serious illness can be overwhelming for the entire family—that’s why making important decisions early on and having a care team that advocates for the patient ensures that their end-of-life journey is a positive one.
459 Passaic Ave, Suite 270, West Caldwell