Commonly Asked Questions
What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?
While palliative and hospice care both provide comfort, hospice is a special type of palliative care provided to those with a prognosis of six months or less to live. Palliative care can start at any stage of illness, even while receiving curative treatments. Hospice begins after curative treatments stop and the illness is considered terminal.
Isn’t palliative care a "bridge program" to hospice?
While some patients are transitioned to hospice care as their disease progresses, many patients only need palliative care while they are undergoing treatments until their illness is cured or symptoms are managed. For example, palliative care can help patients with cancer tolerate treatments better, manage side effects, and improve quality of life. Once treatments have been completed, or symptoms are well managed, patients are then discharged from palliative services. Additionally, some patients may be on palliative care for years before their illness progresses to a point when they qualify for, or would benefit from, hospice care.
Must you give up curative treatments to receive palliative care?
Palliative care is provided in conjunction with curative treatments. Nothing needs to be given up to receive palliative care. Alternatively, if a patient/family wants comfort measures, but does not yet qualify for hospice care, they can receive palliative care services.
Will the palliative care nurse practitioner take over for my current healthcare provider?
The palliative nurse practitioner will collaborate with and make recommendations to your provider, but your primary care physician or specialist will remain in charge of your care.
Is palliative care only offered in the hospital?
Palliative care may be offered in the hospital by the hospital’s palliative care team if they have that service. Angelic Palliative Care is provided wherever the patient resides (private residence, nursing home, assisted living facility). The Angelic Palliative Care team will collaborate with the hospital palliative care providers regarding your care any time you are hospitalized.
Does palliative care only include managing symptoms?
Palliative care provides a combination of care and support with the goal of improving quality of life. Examples include: coordination of care with other health professionals, assistance with resources in the community, educating patient/family about illness and what to expect in the future as it progresses, assistance with completing advanced directives, psycho-social counseling, and spiritual support.
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