Palliative care and Hospice are very similar.

Both of these care choices are focused on minimizing pain and maximizing “comfort”. More people have heard of hospice care and have a general idea of what it provides. Palliative Care and Hospice are designed to administer “comfort” for people that are reaching their final stages in life. Hospital staffs often have Palliative Care personnel trained in communicating this sensitive topic to patients and their family. Palliative and Hospice care are seen as an addition or a supplement to “traditional” care options. Palliative care typically combines medications, day-to-day care, equipment, bereavement counseling, and symptom treatments and are administered through a single program.

Palliative care teams are made up of doctors, nurses, and other professional medical caregivers, often at the hospital where the patient receives treatment. These professionals oversee the comfort-care patients receive. While occasionally palliative care can be administered in the home, it is more common to receive palliative care in an institution (Hospital, Skilled Nursing Facility or a Nursing Home.).

Hospice often relies upon the family caregiver, as well as a visiting hospice nurse. While hospice can provide care in a nursing home, a hospice facility, or, even a hospital, this is not the norm. Typically you are enrolled in hospice by your primary physician after it has been determined that the patient is terminal or has only six months to live. Palliative
care does not have this time restriction. Medicare will often cover all Hospice costs, but this should be verified by your Insurance professional.

Most hospice programs focus on comfort rather than recovery. By electing to concentrate on getting the most out of the time they have left, many hospice patients want to be at home and make quality connections with their loved ones. Most hospice patients can achieve a level of comfort that allows them and their family members to concentrate on the emotional and
practical issues of dying.

While these are general definitions of palliative care and hospice care, there are many other intricacies that can be described to you by your doctor. Don’t be afraid to talk about this.

David Wood, Owner, SLO Caregivers
David Wood, Owner, SLO Caregivers

San Luis Obispo Caregivers was created in memory of my Grandfather, Tracy Gordon Wood II. My mission is to honor him by providing trustworthy, compassionate, and competitively priced caregiving services to seniors in my community. After 25 years in the financial industry and the decision to leave behind a successful 6-year position as the Chief Operating Officer of SESLOC Federal Credit Union, I created San Luis Obispo Home Care. This decision served my desire to make a difference and support the growing needs of seniors in my community. As my business grew and I leaned heavily on my financial background, I realized there was a much more cost-effective way to provide seniors with the care they deserve. This realization led to the creation of San Luis Obispo Caregivers, a referral agency and SLO Senior Placement, a free resource for families looking for independent or assisted living options for seniors. Ultimately, I listen, assess your situation and recommend various options that are available for your family.