Is your loved one suffering from a life-limiting illness? Have you ever thought about asking for more help in supporting and helping them cope with their situation?
Specialized care programs are available to provide more support to your family members facing the end of their lives. The Hospice of the Calumet Area shares two: hospice and palliative care. But what differentiates the two? And for hospice care, when is the right time to call it?
The Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care
Hospice care concentrates more on comfort rather than trying to treat their disease. This involves getting the most out of the time they have left after exhausting all modes of treatment. The aim of hospice care is to improve their patient’s quality of life as they approach the end by assisting patients and their families with the spiritual, emotional, and psychosocial aspects of dying.
Palliative care, on the other hand, usually starts at the time the illness is diagnosed, unlike hospice care, which usually starts near the end of their lives – around a year down to the last 6 months. This program helps patients go through treatment, follow-ups, and other necessary procedures.
The Right Time to Call for Hospice Care
Calling for a hospice does not mean that you have given up on supporting your loved ones, but it is a way to ask for more support, in case it has become too much for your family to handle. Seeking for hospice care is asking for the most appropriate care in the last phase of your loved ones’ lives.
Anyone can refer a person to a hospice, may it be a physician or a family member. The patients themselves may also decide if they want to go through with it, which in this case, is by choice and should be made carefully with the help of their physician and family.
Remember that your loved ones do not have to spend the end of their lives in misery. There are times that you will feel helpless, too, as their illness not only affects them but you and the rest of the family as well. This is why services like hospice and palliative care are available – for them to provide both your loved ones, as well as your family, the support you need.