What is the Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice Care?

If you or a loved one are struggling with an advanced or terminal illness, it might be time to consider receiving palliative or hospice care from the experienced healthcare professionals at Capital Caring Health.

At our locations in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, palliative and hospice care patients receive specialized treatment, symptom management assistance, and overall improved quality of life. This helps to ensure that they are as comfortable as possible and able to fully enjoy the time they have with their family and friends.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care, though? These terms are often used close together, but they’re not interchangeable. In order to make the best possible decisions for you and your loved ones, it’s important to be informed about the type of treatment you or they are going to receive.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice: What You Should Know

Palliative Care

Palliative care is a specialized form of medical care designed to provide patients in the advanced stages of an illness with comfort and pain relief. It is not meant to cure a patient’s condition, but only to minimize their symptoms, stress, and discomfort.

Palliative care chiefly differs from hospice care in that patients may still receive curative treatments in addition to palliative care. These are patients whose conditions may potentially be reversed through medication, surgery, or other means.

Whereas hospice care can be provided wherever a patient calls home, whether that be their own house or apartment, the domicile of a friend or a family member, or a hospital or hospice clinic. Palliative care, on the other hand, is generally provided at a hospital only, with the patient returning home after or between treatments.A younger woman places her hand on the arm of an elderly man

Hospice Care

Unlike palliative care, which seeks to provide comfort and pain relief with or without concurrent curative treatments, hospice care is a specialized form of medical care geared towards patients who are without curative options.

In other words, hospice care is specifically for patients whose condition is irreversible and terminal. The goal of hospice is solely to make patients as comfortable so they can enjoy the time they have left with as little stress or pain as possible.

Patients in hospice are those who have a prognosis of six months or less. For this reason, it’s important that a patient begin receiving hospice care immediately, in order to maximize their time and comfort while minimizing the negative symptoms of their condition. Hospitalization isn’t always necessary for hospice care, meaning patients can get the care they need right at home.

Capital Caring Health Offers Both Hospice and Palliative Care

Whatever the health situation of you or your loved one, Capital Caring Health wants to make sure they’re fully taken care of. We’re proud to offer the best hospice and palliative care in the Virginia-Maryland-Washington, DC area. 

Hospice and palliative care are just two of the many advanced illness services Capital Caring Health offers. Whether you need help with pain management, pediatric hospice, grief counseling, or primary care at home, our compassionate, professional staff of healthcare experts is on hand to provide you with individualized support tailored to your specific needs.

Visit Capital Caring Health today to learn more.

Reach out to one of our care experts today.