What Is The Difference Between Palliative Care & Hospice Care?

May 5, 2021 by Jennifer
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Are you trying to navigate the world of elderly care services? Learn more and understand your palliative care options near you with the article below.

As senior home care and palliative services providers in BC and Alberta, we often receive questions about the differences in care services for those in need. Particularly, we often speak to those who are confused as to the differences between palliative care and hospice.

Both palliative care and hospice can be difficult, complex decisions for families and loved ones to make, and as a leading palliative care services provider across Ontario and Quebec, the team at Big Hearts Home Care is committed to offering expert information and knowledge to help you make the best decision.

To understand the difference between palliative care services and hospice care, it can be helpful to create working definitions of both. This article will break down both the definitions of palliative care and hospice, as well as the eligibility criteria and service options for local palliative care near you or those you love.

Defining Palliative Care Services & Hospice Care

Often used interchangeably, palliative care and hospice care services have similarities to one another but are often utilized for different circumstances. Let’s break down a basic definition of both palliative care and hospice:

Hospice Care

Often referred to as “compassionate care” or “comfort care”, hospice is an option for senior home care or those who are nearing the end of a terminal illness. Hospice care is often recommended if a physician or healthcare provider believes that all options for care have been utilized, and the prognosis leaves the patient with six months or less to live.

Palliative Care

Palliative Care is also often referred to as “comfort care” – which can often explain why the terms palliative care and hospice care are used interchangeably. However, there are important differences between the two.

Palliative care services are offered to those who are facing debilitating illnesses or injuries that prevent them from caring for themselves. As opposed to hospice care, palliative care services can often be recommended and hired at the diagnosis of illness or injury, while hospice care is only brought in during the final months to weeks of a patient’s life.

According to the American Society of Oncologists, this helpful breakdown of palliative care services can help you know whether you or someone you love may be eligible for this type of care:

  • The inability to care for oneself in day-to-day activities.
  • Treatment and care have been administered, but an illness or injury is worsening.
  • A clinical trial does not offer help for the illness.
  • No current treatment or potential treatment is working to offer help or hope.

Who Helps Those In Palliative Care?

Those who are in both palliative care services, as well as hospice care, receive the highest-quality compassionate care available. Known as interdisciplinary teams, those who attend to the needs of individuals in care services are trained and educated on how to provide care across a variety of spectrum:

Physical Care: Those who need aid for accessing daily activities, as well as those needing medication and physical supervision, will be attended to by a trained individual or team.

Mental Care: Whether suffering from mental difficulties due to illness, injury, or age, interdisciplinary teams are trained and experienced to help with a variety of mental needs for patients in both palliative care and elderly care.

Spiritual Care: Both hospice and palliative care services can involve a great deal of spiritual struggle and anguish. Caring and compassionate palliative care professionals are ready to step in and help those who need spiritual guidance and care.

How Does Eligibility Differ Between Hospice & Palliative Care?

One major difference between palliative care and hospice is eligibility. In most cases, eligibility for hospice care requires that two physicians who have treated the patient certify that hospice care is recommended for end-of-life care.

Comparatively, palliative care can be recommended by both the physician and the patient at any point in the diagnosis of an issue that can require palliative care. This allows for much great access for those in need of extra care with palliative care services.

Are There Cost Differences?

Whether one is looking at palliative care services or elderly care services, one of the first questions that are asked regard cost. Both palliative care and hospice will include a variety of aspects that come at a cost, including:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical Equipment
  • 24/7 Care Access
  • Social Services
  • Grief Support For Families

For those who have been approved for hospice care, 100% of the costs involved are covered by public health coverage or the patient’s private insurance. This can be a lifesaver for those who are trying to navigate the difficulties of end-of-life care of family members and loved ones.

For palliative care services, the costs can vary depending on the services needed during the care term. Each palliative care service will feature different offerings and costs based on the unique circumstances of the patient.

To learn more about what the average palliative care services in your area may cost, a simple web search for “palliative care near me” can give plenty of information and results that will help you create an average expected cost.

How To Find Palliative Care Near Me

If you are looking for palliative care services in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, or Quebec, access to the best options can make all the difference. At Big Hearts Home Care, we are committed to offering palliative care at home and elderly care services that promote the independence and integrity of our clients. With years of experience helping individuals with palliative care services, we are a leading palliative care provider. Whether you are considering the possibility of elderly care services, senior home care, or are in need of palliative care near you, contact our team today to learn more about the unique benefits of working with the local region’s most trusted palliative care service. We are proud to offer our services for those in need across Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Mississauga, and Montreal.

Copyright by Big Hearts Homecare 2021. All rights reserved.

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