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Hospice care vs palliative care

Hospice and palliative care each serve a vital role in helping patients and families deal with serious and life threatening illnesses. It is important to understand palliative care vs hospice if you are looking for palliative care treatments or relative of palliative care patients or hospice patients.

In recent years there has been growing interest in hospice and palliative care among patients, healthcare professionals and the general public. Patients who seek alternative treatment options for their conditions may find one or both of these forms of care beneficial.

It is important to know how long does hospice last? Hospice service is designed for patients with a life expectancy of six months or less, who are in the last phase of a serious illness. It aims at providing comfort care rather than prolonging life.

Palliative care is a philosophy of treatment that focuses on relief from symptoms and stress. When patients have serious illnesses, palliative care physicians manage their pain, as well as other problems that patients experience. This holistic approach to medicine provides relief from symptoms that are not controlled by more traditional treatments alone.

How Hospice care Helps You and Family In Difficult Times:

This form of care focuses on a patient's symptoms and a holistic approach to a comfort focused life. Quality of life, pain control, spiritual growth and planning for the end of one's life are goals of hospice care. By caring for the person, hospice aims at treating both the patient and his or her family.

Hospice care is sometimes misunderstood to be service when people are going to die. It is true that some patients do pass away while being cared for by a hospice team. However, it also true that many patients find relief from their symptoms as we experienced in hospice care for cancer patients. By caring for a patient's comfort, hospice personnel also provide support for the patient's family.

Hospice Care and Benefits For Family

Hospice care can help you and your family in many ways. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Following diagnosis, a patient and his or her family can develop a care plan with the help of hospice personnel. Regularly scheduled visits to assess symptoms help in maintaining painless days. Hospice care helps medical team in assessing how well the individual is doing. A patient can stay at home instead of going to a hospital. If an emergency arises, the hospice team is there to help.
  • Having pain under control helps a patient concentrate on living fully, rather than merely surviving until death. Even if death is near, it can be comforting to know that one's last days are not spent in pain. Since hospice care's main goals is comfort, it is important part of treatment.
  • Hospice care concentrates on the spiritual well being of a patient and his or her family. A volunteer chaplain, minister or rabbi can visit regularly for religious counseling. The hospice team also has social workers that are trained in end of life issues to help you with your concerns.
  • One of the most difficult events in a family's life is planning for the loss that they know is coming. The hospice team helps by doing some of this work with you and your family. They can help in pre-planning decisions about funeral arrangements, cremation, burials or burial plots, donations to charities and organ donation. They can also take care of the paperwork, such as writing a will or advancing health care directives.
  • By caring for you and your family, hospice personnel help you take care of unfinished business in life. Because dying is a part of living, memories are important. Sometimes people need help to review their lives and happy events in order to bring a sense of completion to life. Just as important, hospice care also helps you and your family grieve your loss when the time comes.

How Palliative Care Helps You and Family In Difficult Times:

Palliative care can help patients with a range of problems such as pain, shortness of breath, nausea and loss of appetite. In some cases, palliative care services will help patients deal with psychological symptoms such as depression or anxiety.

Palliative care focuses on the relief from symptoms and stress, rather than a cure for an illness. However it is important to note that palliative care does not equal hospice care. Palliative care is not limited to patients with a prognosis of six months or less and palliative care does not focus entirely on end of life issues.

For example, palliative care physicians work closely with other medical professionals such as cardiologists and gastroenterologists in order to make sure that all symptoms are well controlled.

This approach reduce physical, emotional and spiritual discomfort in patients who have incurable diseases or terminal illnesses. Symptoms that remain uncontrolled despite other forms of care are the primary focus of palliative care.

Questions to ask before Getting a Palliative Care

There are terrible diseases which many patients fight for their lives. But what happens when you cannot survive it? At this time, your family should talk about palliative care and how to spend the last moments together. There are different types of palliative care, but there are questions you should ask before choosing one.

1. What is the overall goal of palliative care?

Palliative care helps patients improve their overall well being despite a disease which cannot be treated anymore. The goal of palliation can vary from patient to patient, but it may include a reduction of symptoms and an increase in quality of life for each individual.

2. What are the responsibilities of a loved one?

If you choose a certain form of palliative care, it's important to know that the burden is not on your loved ones, but on health care professionals. Some forms of palliative care do not require much from your loved one. But in others, help and cooperation from family members are required.

3. What are the options for palliative care?

There are multiple ways to improve a patient's quality of life, even when it has diminished because of disease. Palliative care is not limited to end of life patients only, but can provide relief to anyone with chronic pain or sickness. Some forms of palliative care include family care, patient care, supportive care, pediatric palliative care and pain management.

4. How does the focus of palliative care change with time?

Palliation is not always focused on relieving symptoms or increasing the quality of life in the end stage of a serious illness. The goal can be adapted to each patient's needs. For instance, there are some forms of palliative care focused on preventing or reducing symptoms before they even appear.

5. How is the role of family different in palliative care?

Family members can have multiple roles within a patient's journey. They may be present at some appointments with their loved one. Other options make a family member the expert on their loved one's preferences, beliefs and home care practices.

6. What are the benefits of palliative care?

There are many positive attributes to different forms of palliative care. The goal should always be to provide benefits, such as increasing quality of life and reducing symptoms. Some forms of palliative care offer relief for existing symptoms while others can help prevent or reduce them in the future.

7. What are the negative attributes of each form of palliative care?

Just like with positive attributes, each form of palliative care can also have negative aspects. For example, some forms of palliative care require the patient to be hospitalized for a longer period and others require more visits from family members in order to work effectively.

8. What role does religion and culture play in the choice of each form of palliative care?

Different cultures, beliefs and faiths may play a role in the choice of each form palliative care. For instance, some patients might prefer not to be involved with spiritual advice and others may want only their religious leaders to provide such help.

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