This November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month.
In honor of the month, we’ve put together a brief guide on hospice care, palliative care, and end-of-life care. While the three types of at-home care are very similar, they do each come with their own philosophies and nuances.
Read on, as we walk you through each type of care and what it’s for.
What Is Hospice Care?
The goal of hospice care is to help seniors improve their quality of life.
Rather than focus on a cure, hospice care shifts the medical attention to comfortability and general well-being. This means, concentrating on pain management and reducing discomfort, in order for seniors to live their days productively and meaningfully. Hospice care is an all-encompassing approach to senior care, taking into high consideration emotional, social, spiritual, and mental capacities as well.
Hospice care is generally for seniors who have been diagnosed with 6 months or less to live. It can be conducted at a facility or at-home. However, many seniors prefer to stay in the comfort of their own homes as they make the most of their last days.
What Is Palliative Care?
Similar to hospice care, palliative care also focuses on quality of life.
However, while hospice care puts aside the idea of a cure, palliative care still looks for one. With palliative care, patients can continue to go for medical treatments while still getting a wholistic approach focused on the quality of life.
It’s also good to note, that palliative care can sometimes be easier to set up, as it is not tied to Medicare and therefore does not need to meet as many requirements.
What Is End-of-Life Care?
End-of-life care is specifically for older patients during the last year of their lives. End-of-life care focuses on the technical side of things such as finances, wills, legalities, etc.
How To Choose What’s Right for Your Senior?
As shown above, each of these types of at-home care is similar yet distinct. If you’re having a hard time deciding, the first thing to do is sit down and have a long talk with your senior’s primary doctor.
After that, try to discuss with your senior what he or she wants. If it’s hard to communicate with your senior, think back to your senior’s values, beliefs, and world views. Then, make the best-educated decision you can based on the information you have.
If you’re still struggling to decide, try talking with people who have gone through similar experiences. Listen to professional hospice aides, as well as spouses and family members who once had a senior in hospice care. However, it’s always a good idea to take experiential advice from others with a grain of salt. Your situation will never be exactly the same as another’s, and that means that what worked for them won’t necessarily work for you and your senior.
To find out more about the different at-home services available to your senior- give Aurora Home Care a call anytime at 215-396-8822.