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November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. It is very common to be confused by the two terms; so we’d like to take solve that confusion by explaining what, when and why each type of care is needed.

The Definition of Hospice and Palliative Care

The term palliative care is actually fairly new to the health care world. The reason for creating the term was so people understood that the type of care they were receiving was not necessarily associated with end of life.Let’s define the two termsHospice Care – Hospice care is directly associated with someone who is facing the end of life within an assumed short period of time. This article on hospice care helps to understand the term as it is used within the health care industry.Palliative Care – Palliative care, unlike hospice care, is not directly associated with the end of life. This type of care focuses on people who have health issues that make everyday tasks difficult and quite often cause chronic pain. While not necessarily a terminal illness, their health issues are typically degenerative and often incurable.

Information About Palliative Care

  • Health Problems, Diseases, Chronic Pain & Disorders – Some common health problems that can cause the need for palliative care include:
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Aging with numerous health conditions
  • Heart Patients
  • Autoimmune Diseases (A fairly inclusive list of autoimmune diseases)
  • Focus – The focus on palliative care is quality of life. The caregiving you receive with palliative care will include comfort care but also encompasses making your overall quality of life better and easier.
  • Teamwork – With palliative care it is common to have a “team” of healthcare members that will work together. This team could consist of caregivers, physicians, therapists, and often will include local or national organizations that focus on your specific disease. Some common organizations include:
  • National MS Society (Website)
  • The American Lung Association (Website)
  • Church Affiliations
  • The American Heart Association (Website)
  • Local Support Groups
  • Online Support Groups
  • Focus on Cure and Better Health – Unlike hospice care, palliative care will often also focus on curing your health issues and symptoms. There can also be a focus on increasing your overall quality of health.

Information About Hospice Care

  • Hospice Care Focus – Like palliative care hospice care does focus on comfort. However, hospice care is also focused on making the end of life as comfortable and easy as possible.
  • Family Focus – Because hospice care deals with end of life, it usually includes helping the family deal with the loss of a loved one.
  • Dignity & Peacefulness – Hospice care will help the patient and their family approach end of life with dignity and peacefulness. Every case is different and every family will be treated in a manner that helps them deal with the end of life process in a way that encompasses their beliefs.

How Senior Living Experts Can Help

Senior Living Experts excels in helping others and focuses on each patient as an individual. Let us be a part of both hospice and palliative care according to your specific needs as we celebrate National Hospice and Palliative Care Month by giving you knowledge.Photo by VinothChandar

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