Having a terminal illness can change a person’s life in many ways. One common and painful way it does is how the sickness eats up the patient’s energy. This hinders them from doing even the most basic tasks, like walking, eating, and bathing by themselves.
That is why when a patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness, doctors will recommend palliative care or hospice care. People who don’t know the difference between the two health-care services either overreact and panic or don’t have any response at all.
Many assume that receiving care means their condition can no longer be treated. However, that is not always the case.
Life-threatening diseases, whether treatable or untreatable, are usually accompanied by debilitating symptoms, along with constant and intense pain and discomfort, that only medical professionals are trained to handle. Therefore, the doctor will advise the patient to receive palliative or hospice care.
The goal of both services is to provide patients with round-the-clock care by health-care providers and monitoring using equipment and sensors only available in medical facilities. But they are different in that palliative care is offered to patients who suffer from terminal and nonterminal illnesses. People with chronic conditions, such as cancer, heart failure, Parkinson’s, and dementia, may receive palliative care to help them live as normally as possible.
Many times, terminal illnesses are diagnosed too late or have progressed too far and no longer respond to treatment. When this happens, the doctor will recommend hospice care for the patient. Sometimes, terminally ill patients may choose not to receive treatment, so hospice care is given to offer them comfort, support, and holistic care in their last moments.
Learn more about the differences and similarities of palliative care and hospice care through this helpful infographic about essential aspects of health care.