If you or a loved one is seeking care for a terminal illness, you might have explored the options and found resources referring to both palliative care and hospice care. While the care and support for a patient can seem similar, there are several key differences that should be considered.

Palliative care refers to care received by seriously ill patients. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life, and increase comfort for the patient, while patient continues medical and or curative treatments. Palliative care is administered for chronic illnesses, including heart failure, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and many others. It can be helpful at any stage of the illness while treatment continues.

Hospice care provides comfort care when all curative or life prolonging treatments are not an option for patients with a prognosis of six months or less to live. At this stage, a patient is aware that the illness is not responding to treatment and chooses to live the best quality of life possible. The care that a patient receives in hospice is, therefore, more comprehensive than palliative care and takes into consideration the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patient and family.

At Hospice of Orange and Sullivan, these comprehensive services, a Medicare Benefit, are made up of interdisciplinary teams including RN’s, hospice aide specialists, social workers for emotional care, spiritual care, medications pertaining to illness, medical equipment, and more. All services are designed to be provided in any environment, such as a nursing home, adult care facility, the Kaplan Family Hospice Residence, or the patient’s own home. Hospice care can also be provided in the hospital. An overview of these services is available here.

When it comes to making important end-of-life decisions, managing pain, and receiving emotional support, Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties, Inc. has decades of experience aiding patients and their families. If you, a loved one or someone you know needs this special end-of-life care or needs bereavement support please call Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties today at 845- 561-6111 or find us at www.hospiceoforange.com.