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Understanding the Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care for Seniors

By Lee Nyberg, 9:00 am on

If your senior loved one is ill and needs help managing pain associated with his or her illness, he or she may benefit from palliative care. The following information provided by Lincoln Home Care Assistance can help family caregivers understand what palliative care is, how it differs from hospice care, and how to get it for their senior loved one.

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a branch of medicine focused on meeting a patient’s physical, spiritual, and emotional needs during a serious illness. It is often referred to as the human side of the field of medicine because individuals receive relief on multiple levels, and comfort and support are extended toward family members of the sick individual.

Palliative Vs. Hospice Care

Palliative care is not meant to replace a treatment, nor is it used to treat terminally ill individuals. This is the main difference between palliative and hospice care. Hospice care is provided with the intention of making a person comfortable during what is expected to be the last six months of a person’s life. Conversely, palliative care meets many of the same needs, but can be used at any time or multiple times during the course of a serious illness. Often times, patients recover and no longer need palliative care.

Receiving Palliative Care

Does palliative care sound right for your senior loved one? If so, receiving palliative care is not difficult. Most insurance will cover all or part of the cost of palliative care. To begin the service, all you need to do is talk with his or her doctor. Once a person starts palliative care, he or she will still work with a personal physician and specialists, but may also get a doctor and other team members specifically trained in administering palliative care. 

Seniors who are recovering from serious illness or surgery will likely need additional assistance that family caregivers may not be able to provide. Lincoln Home Care Assistance provides flexible hourly or live-in care in Lincoln to ensure your loved one has the necessary support for an efficient recovery, including meal preparation, help with physical activity, and companionship. Call us today at 402.261.5158 to learn more about our at-home care services and request a free consultation.