Discussing hospice can be a beneficial option at any stage of a life-limiting illness. Patients as well as their families benefit the most when they are supported by the hospice team with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual support from their hospice team as early as possible.
Hospice care is palliative by nature, meaning it provides comfort care. At the point of receiving hospice care, a patient's illness has progressed to where curative treatment is no longer desired or beneficial. Hospice care supports the patient and their families while focusing on relieving symptoms and offering comfort from pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, insomnia or constipation.
Non-Hospice Palliative Care
By definition, non-hospice palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms that are related to chronic illnesses, such as cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, AIDS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological diseases.
As you can see, there are differences between non-hospice palliative care and hospice care – and yet there is a relationship between the two. Non-hospice palliative care can be used at any stage of an illness, not just the advanced stages.