What is the Difference Between Hospice Care and Palliative Care?

Palliative Care in Folsom CA

Palliative Care in Folsom CA

Hospice and palliative care are easy to confuse, especially if you don’t have experience with either one. These types of care are ways for your elderly family member to have help managing symptoms related to health issues and to end-of-life concerns. But how can you tell which type is right for her? Understanding the differences and the similarities can be a good way to finally understand which one to try now.

When Care Is Accessed Can Vary

The timing for these two types of care varies widely. Hospice care is something that your senior’s doctors recommend when she is expected to have only a few months left to live. Hospice is about easing that transition to the very last stages of someone’s life, so curative treatments stop. Palliative care, on the other hand, is about improving your senior’s quality of life now, right after she’s diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. These treatments help her alongside other treatments, even curative ones, which means that your elderly family member’s options increase.

Care Locations May Be Different, Too

Hospice can be provided in a hospital-style setting or in someone’s home. Palliative care can also be offered in your senior’s home but may be offered in a variety of other locations, too. She may visit a massage therapist at her place of business, for instance, or a physical therapist at their office. If there are times when your elderly family member finds it difficult to get out to those appointments, many times those providers can come to her to make her life easier.

The Focus of the Care Is a Bit Different

Hospice is about gently nurturing your senior as she moves closer to the end of her life. Palliative care is also offered to people who are experiencing a big impact to their lives from their illness, but this isn’t the end yet. Palliative options are focused on ensuring that the life-limiting illness your senior is facing is manageable. Symptom management is a big part of palliative treatments, especially if those symptoms are able to be completely mitigated.

Comfort and Support Are Key for Both Types of Care

The biggest similarity between these two types of care is that your senior’s well-being is at the forefront of every decision. Offering support and comfort is absolutely crucial and it’s involved in just about every care decision that you’ll make for your elderly family member. These types of care also are a lot easier to manage for your senior when you have a plan and when you know what your elderly family member wants most. That helps you to steer the care decisions appropriately.

Working with your family member’s doctors can always help you to determine what type of care is right for her and when a change might offer some benefits. Palliative care is an option immediately after your elderly family member is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness, so you don’t have to wait to access this care if it seems to offer her benefits.


If you are considering palliative care in Folsom, CA, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at PIC Comfort Care today. Call (530) 885-9948.

Shaun Clinkinbeard
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