The Hospice/Palliative Journey
Many within our communities have questions regarding what Hospice and Palliative care are. There's quite a bit of hearsay regarding each of these services. They are not one in the same, contrary to popular belief. Let me tell you about the two and what both services have to offer. As a Hospice professional, I know how hard it can be to get to this point with their loved ones. Placing a loved one in hospice care is not an easy decision to make. However, your loved one will be provided with the best care possible along this road.
Let me share some insightful information with you.
What is Hospice Care?
Hospice is a special kind of care that focuses on the quality of life for people and their caregivers experiencing advanced, life-limiting illnesses. Hospice provides compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable diseases so that they can live as fully and comfortably as possible. When a person receives hospice care, there is usually a prognosis of six months or less if the disease runs its natural course. Hospice teams help with all care aspects needed and help improve the quality of life of the patient. However, in many cases, there can be higher longevity (of life), and the person is re-assessed and re-evaluated.
However, there can be "false hope" within families due to the possible reassessment or reevaluation. Please don't hesitate to speak with your facility/agency/healthcare provider. They are there to support you, your family, and your loved ones.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care focuses on the symptoms and stress of the disease and the treatment. Palliative care treats a wide range of issues, including pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, shortness of breath, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. Palliative care teams aim to improve the patient's quality of life.
What is Respite Care?
A brief overview
Respite care is for the caregiver, or family members. This involves short term or temporary care of the sick or disabled patient for a few hours or weeks. This process allows the caregiver/family time for themselves. Respite may also be provided for a professional home healthcare worker.
However, not all Hospice and Palliative Care service providers offer Respite Care. Please consult with your healthcare provider on this to see what your options are.