Life-altering illness is a health complication that impacts millions of families every year.

As we get older, or even just as we become sick, sometimes we need to lean on home health care to get us through it. Two types of home health care we hear about often are palliative and hospice care.

While palliative and hospice are similar forms of home health care, they do have quite a few differences. These are differences you should be aware of when finding the best care for yourself or a loved one.

So, what’s the difference between hospice vs. palliative care? Keep reading to find out!

Hospice Care

When a person starts to reach the end of their life, hospice care is there to make the transition easier.

When someone has a terminal illness, hospice care is usually recommended. With hospice care, a person can be made comfortable for the rest of their life. Additionally, end of life care is helpful for the family members who are impacted by the terminal illness. 

When using hospice care, the individual or family is provided a team of professionals to help make the transition easier. This is why home health care cost can often be high.

This team may include doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, or a chaplain if the family is religious. 

Palliative Care

If someone is suffering from a serious illness, the point of palliative care is to help ease any symptoms that the person may be suffering from.

Palliative care is provided by a team of nurses and doctors as well as specialists for the specific condition. The type of care given depends on what the patient needs to feel comfortable in their state. 

Palliative care isn’t specific to any age or condition. Also, while symptoms are being treated, curative care can be provided as well. 

Hospice vs. Palliative Care

While many people get hospice and palliative care confused, they are actually quite different.

Hospice is only available to people who are diagnosed with a terminal illness. Hospice care doesn’t even start until a few months before the patient’s life is expected to end. The purpose of hospice is to alleviate pain and suffering so the patient can spend the rest of their time focused on loved ones.

On the other hand, palliative care is available to anyone, at any age, at any point in their life. Illness doesn’t need to be terminal in order for a person to receive palliative care.

While hospice care doesn’t attempt to cure the condition, palliative care does use curative measures. A simple way to remember the difference between palliative care is that all hospice care is palliative. However, all palliative care is not hospice.

Home Health Care Can Be a Huge Help

When weighing the difference between hospice vs. palliative care, it’s important to remember that both are meant to help make illness more manageable.

While one is reserved for terminal conditions and the other is not, palliative or hospice care may make you or a loved one’s suffering reduced greatly.

If you found this article on home health care helpful, check out our other articles on life topics!