Many people do not know the difference between hospice and palliative care. We wanted to inform our readers of the differences because it’s important to know this when seeking elder care services for an older loved one.
About Palliative Care
Palliative care is a service that provides for the person entirely. Most people who have palliative care suffer from a disease or disorder that requires around the clock care. Often this requires many different types of specialists to remain medically stable. For instance, the patient may need a doctor, nurse, social worker, and dietitian available on a daily basis.
Palliative care vs hospice is meant to improve the quality of life and hopefully contribute to recovery efforts. It helps patients reduce symptoms of their disease/disorder, so they can be comfortable and in the best position to recover.
About Hospice Care
Hospice and palliative care are similar in that they both include a full range of services to make a person as comfortable as possible. The main difference between hospice and palliative care is that generally the patient in hospice care only has 6 months or less to live.
Hospice’s goal is to ensure the patient has everything needed to live out the rest of their days in as little pain and discomfort as possible. It is not a long-term care option.
Treatment is provided in hospice, but it is not meant for recovery – it is entirely to alleviate or reduce the symptoms of the terminal illness.
Palliative Care vs Hospice
Since elderly who receive palliative care are expected to survive for more than 6 months, the goal of treatment is not only to provide comfort but also recovery or stabilization of their disease or disorder. Hospice care is provided to people who no longer have a chance at recovering from their disease or disorder, nor can it be stabilized to prolong the person’s life. The only treatment they receive is for comfort as they reach the end of life.
People sometimes do leave hospice care and go into palliative care if their condition changes. Of course, a person can also go from palliative care to hospice care. It all depends on their prognosis, which is regularly assessed throughout receiving services.
If you are unsure of palliative care vs hospice and which one is right for your loved one, speak to a healthcare professional. This person will be able to recommend services and the type of care that is best at this time.
Seeking Hospice and Palliative Care
During these difficult times, ElderCare Connections’ senior placement services is here to help. We are a FREE referral service that can help you find the best care for your older loved one. We have great working relationships with facilities providing hospice and palliative care. Our service is at no cost to you. Please call us at 513-685-8998, or complete our contact us form to learn more about these options and which one is best for your older loved one.
Also, for help during this difficult time, please download our free eBook on making hard choices.
Often when people are seeking placement for their older loved one, they start looking for one of two types of facilities either a Skilled Nursing Facility or a Long Term Care Facility. Each one seems like it’s a good choice, but they are very different. Understanding your housing options and how they are different can help you choose which is best for your loved one.
A Skilled Nursing Facility is for Specialized Care
A person who is released from the hospital and needs time to rehabilitate often goes to a skilled nursing facility. This person participates in therapy daily from:
● Physical Therapists
● Occupational Therapists
● Speed Therapists
In addition to therapy, residents at a equipped nursing facility receive medical care, such as having bandages replaced or vitals checked.
Doctors are usually not part of the nursing facility, but residents can be transported to the doctor if needed.
A good nursing facility is only temporary, unless the resident needs long term care at this intensity. Usually, when this happens, the person has to pay for the cost out-of-pocket, as Medicare only covers the cost for up to 100 days.
Some people leave a skilled nursing facility to go to long term care, while others return home. For those who move to a long term care facility, they generally need less assistance than the nursing facility provides.
Long Term Care Facility Provides 24 Hour Nursing Care
While a skilled nursing facility focuses on rehabilitation, a long term care facility focuses on medical and health monitoring. This facility is for older individuals who no longer can live independently in their home. It is a housing option.
The long term care facility provides everything a person needs to live safely and healthy:
● Healthy meals
● Medication administration
● Clean room
● Personal hygiene assistance
● Nurse assistance
Staff members include those who provide basic needs, as well as registered nurses, nurse aides, social workers, and dietitian.
Doctors are not part of the staff at this type of facility. If the person is able, transportation is available for appointments. In emergencies, the facility will either transport the resident to the doctor, hospital, or call 9-1-1 depending on the severity of the medical emergency.
Consider Level of Care to Decide Between a Skilled Nursing Facility or Long Term Care Facility
If your older loved one isn’t in the hospital right now, chances are the long term care facility is the right choice. Some long term care facilities do include skilled nursing services as part of their services, so if you believe your loved one needs a bit more assistance than what was described above, look for one of those facilities.
If you currently have an older loved one in the hospital, a good nursing facility may bridge the way for him or her to go back home after treatment. This way when your loved one does return home they will be much more stable and safer at home.
ElderCare Connections Helps You Choose
After reading the above differences between a skilled nursing facility and long term care facility, you may still have some questions. ElderCare Connections can help you with those questions. Simply call us with them and we will answer them thoroughly. We are a free referral service that seeks to help those who need to find quality elder care services for themselves or their loved ones. We look forward to helping you. You can reach us through our contact us form or by calling 513-685-8998.