How Palliative Care Differs from Hospice
Palliative care is intended for patients with chronic and/or life-limiting illnesses. Unlike hospice, palliative care patients may have a life expectancy of greater than six months and may continue to receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other aggressive medical treatments. Along with symptom management, palliative care can facilitate discussions with patients and families concerning end-of-life diagnosis and prognosis. Patients who receive palliative care can transition smoothly to hospice care as the patient’s care needs change throughout the final phases of life.
The Goal of Palliative Care
The goal of palliative care is to enhance quality of life by providing aggressive pain and symptom management, coupled with psychosocial support, and assistance with medical decision-making. Additionally, palliative care can help prevent recurrent hospitalizations by improving symptom management.
Who is Appropriate for Palliative Care?
- Patients with chronic and/or advanced illnesses
- Patients with complex symptom management needs
- Patients with recurrent hospitalizations
Common diagnoses include: cancer, heart disease, COPD, liver failure, renal failure, stroke, failure to thrive, and neurological diseases such as MS, advanced dementia and ALS