As one of the largest organizations in the Pacific Northwest exclusively providing in-home medical care to seriously ill patients, we will be offering information and resources as well as important stories from the field on our blog, social media and e-news throughout the month. If you would like to sign up for our e-news to receive these updates in your inbox, click here.
Hospice and palliative care are far away from most of our lives, so when we find ourselves dealing with a serious illness or supporting a loved one’s journey, it can make us feel alone and overwhelmed simply because the topic is so unfamiliar. At Housecall Providers, we believe that it is important to help our communities develop familiarity with the ideas and the services hospice and palliative care represent as a part of general health literacy. In doing so, it is our hope that should an individual find themselves needing those services, they will have some idea where to start.
What are palliative care and hospice?
Both hospice and palliative care are services designed to help individuals with serious illnesses. Palliative care is not hospice care although both services provide a palliative approach with the focus on relieving pain and suffering. Palliative care is a service that is provided concurrently with your primary treatment being received with the emphasis on helping alleviate pain, symptoms, and the stress of serious illness, and is often an adjunct to curative care.
Hospice care also follows a palliative approach while providing more of a focus on comfort instead of curative and helps to alleviate symptoms within the patient’s home setting instead of the hospital. Hospice is a Medicare benefit (many commercial plans cover this care too) and is provided free of charge to most patients who have a prognosis that is often measured in weeks or months. Under hospice care, the goal is not just to help alleviate symptoms but to provide support and care to individuals and their families to help reduce the burden that a serious illness can present.
Over the next four weeks, we will be diving into important details and adding information and resources to our platforms. First, though, let us address the reason why there is a National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization issued the following proclamation: