Palliative Care vs. Hospice

Palliative Care

Palliative care teams are relatively new in health care, although the concept of providing comfort care is not. In palliative care, the goal of the team is to prevent or relieve pain and suffering, whether it’s physical, mental or emotional. The desired outcome is always that your quality of life will be improved.

It’s easy to confuse palliative care and hospice. Palliative care can be delivered at any point in your treatment—including at the end of life; hospice care is typically given when the illness cannot be cured. Whereas hospice care is usually delivered in the home or a hospice facility, palliative care may be delivered in any environment.

Hospice Care

While many people see hospice care as a last resort, we encourage you and your family to consider hospice as a support system. According to the Hospice Foundation, “Hospice is the ‘something more’ that can be done for the patient and the family when the illness cannot be cured. It’s a concept based on comfort-oriented care. Referral into hospice is a movement into another mode of therapy, which may be more appropriate for terminal care.” Visit the Hospice Foundation site to learn more about how to find hospice care in your area.