Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

While both palliative care and hospice care seek to relieve an individual’s pain and symptoms of chronic disease, there are significant differences.

Palliative care:

  • can be provided earlier in the disease process than hospice and does not require a six-month prognosis
  • can be utilized alongside curative care and therapies
  • team consists of a registered nurse, nurse practitioner and physician

Hospice care:

  • is provided when an individual has a life expectancy of six months or less
  • is intensive comfort care, rather than curative care; individuals choose to focus on quality of life and forgo curative treatments
  • provides the medications for the terminal diagnosis and related conditions, equipment and supplies 
  • includes 24/7 access via phone to a team of health care professionals, including the hospice physician, nurse practitioner and registered nurse to address an individuals’ medical needs; certified nursing assistant to provide the patient with personal cares like bathing, dressing and grooming; social workers and chaplains to offer emotional and spiritual support; and bereavement specialist who support family members and loved ones for 13 months after a death
  • offers volunteer support to patients for companionship by playing cards, reading a newspaper, having coffee, taking walks, giving wheelchair rides or whatever the patient find most comforting

If you’re unsure if palliative care or hospice care is right for you, contact us. We’ll visit with you at a time that’s convenient for you and answer any questions you have about palliative care and hospice care, and about how we can help.