When a person you love is dealing with a serious health condition, you might feel helpless. You want to do everything you can to ease the pain, discomfort, or fear, but are uncertain about where to begin. One of the best ways you can help is simply by learning what you can concerning the prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment plans the doctor presents.
In particular, you may hear the terms “hospice care” or “palliative care,” and sometimes both interchangeably. So exactly what is hospice care, and what is palliative care? And are either of them appropriate for your loved one?
Our caregivers have the important information you need to understand more about both of these options. This can help you make a well-informed decision about whether one or the other is appropriate for your family member.
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care can be introduced to help ease symptoms at any time during a significant illness, regardless of life expectancy or any other outcomes. The aim is to help a person better tolerate medical treatments and also to increase recovery and healing.
Palliative care can be used in conjunction with other therapeutic treatment methods. It is available for as long as it is necessary, depending on the kind of insurance covering the expense. Some treatments and medications may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance. It’s important to ask questions about policy coverage and to learn about any potential out of pocket costs such as deductibles, premiums, copayments, etc.
What Is Hospice Care?
Like palliative care, hospice care is intended to provide comfort. However, the purpose of hospice care shifts from recovery-based treatment to enhancing quality of life close to the end of life. It is recommended when the doctor certifies that life expectancy is six months or less.
It’s crucial to be aware that hospice care is not about dying; it’s about living as comfortably as possible. Hospice care provides relief from pain as well as other physical symptoms, while giving emotional and spiritual assistance – both to the person receiving care and their loved ones. Medicaid, Medicare, and most private insurance plans cover the cost for hospice.
What About Home Care?
Both palliative and hospice care can be offered within the comfort of the person’s home. A non-medical in-home care provider, like Grace Home Care, works in tandem with the palliative or hospice care provider. The services we provide are an important component of the person’s holistic care needs. Our care providers can fill in the gaps between home health care visits to assist with:
- Looking out for and reporting any changes in condition
- Enabling loved ones to take much-needed time off from care
- Providing companionship for conversations and any activities the person finds enjoyable or comforting
- Planning and preparing meals
- Taking care of light housekeeping and laundry
- Running errands, such as picking up groceries and prescriptions
- And more
If you’d like to speak to someone about what your family is facing during the emotional time surrounding the need for hospice or palliative care, reach out to us at 785-286-2273 or contact us online. We are here for you any time to listen and offer supportive solutions.