Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Palliative care is an interdisciplinary approach to specialized medical and nursing care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress at any stage of illness.
Video: When to Begin Hospice
How Does Hospice Work?
Typically, a family member serves as the primary caregiver and, when appropriate, helps make decisions for the terminally ill individua. Members of the hospice staff make regular visits to assess the patient and provide additional are or other services. Hospice staff is on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The hospice team develops a care plan that meets each patient's individual needs for pain management and symptom control. The team usually consists of:
Hospice focuses on caring, not curing and, in most cases, care is
provided in the patient's home. Hospice care also is provided in
freestanding hospice centers, hospitals, and nursing homes and other
long-term care facilities.
Hospice services are available to patients of any age, religion, race, or illness. Hospice care is covered under Medicare, Medicaid, most private insurance plans, HMOs, and other managed care organizations.
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