Palliative Care vs Hospice

Both palliative and hospice care provide help and assistance to patients who are living with illnesses that limit their ability to care for themselves. Although palliative is a part of hospice care, palliative care can be used as its own practice while a patient is getting treatment for their needs.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?

A patient often receives palliative care while they are undergoing continuing care for their serious illness. This can be used in various phases of the patient’s treatment. Whereas hospice care is reserved solely for patients who are nearing the end of life.

Hospice is needed when all other treatment has failed and there is no other recourse available. If curative treatment is no longer working and the patient only has so many months to live, hospice care may be used in their final days.

Typically, doctors reserve hospice care for patients who have 6 months or less to live.

Is palliative care the same as hospice?

When looking at hospice vs palliative care, hospice care comes after the diagnosis. Palliative care begins at the time a diagnosis is made. Furthermore, palliative care works in conjunction with treatment. Both hospice and palliative care are designed to improve the patient’s quality of life and provide comfort care.

What exactly is palliative care?

Patients with life-limiting illnesses require treatment that helps them feel better. Hospice palliative care is designed to limit the symptoms and side effects of certain illnesses while assisting in the emotional and spiritual aspects of life.

Patients who require palliative care can turn to the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). This non-profit organization serves to help patients receive palliative care by making it more available to those who need it. CAPC works with various health organizations by providing the training needed to care for patients.

Palliative entails a palliative care team that works with not only the patient but also with family and doctors. Both levels of care can be employed in a nursing home or at the patient’s home.

What is hospice care?

Hospice care is designed to improve the quality of a patient’s life who is suffering from a life-threatening illness or disease. By focusing on comfort and emotional needs, patients who need hospice vs palliative care benefit from having a caregiver who looks after them.

Contact Mary T

If you have questions about palliative care vs hospice care or would like more information about our services, feel free to call Mary T. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the continuing care of a loved one or family member.

Our team at Mary T proudly stands by you as your advocates during this phase in your life. We are happy to assist you in any way that we can. From finding senior housing to helping with private insurance. You’re not in this alone. Contact Mary T today so we can help your loved one get the care they need.

What to Expect From Hospice Care

The transition of a loved one into hospice care is something that most people aren’t ready for.  If you have a loved one who is in hospice care, or a loved one who is about to enter hospice care, you may be wondering what that means for your family. Mary T Inc hospice service serves northern Minneapolis and will make sure that your loved one is well taken care of.

Social Workers

It’s understandable that the transition of a loved one into a hospice care home can be stressful for the family as well as the patient. Mary T Inc has social workers who will help your family deal with many different aspects of this transition.

Social workers are an important part in adapting to life with a family member in constant care at home or in a facility. They help families to understand the different options that they have. Social workers also help the family with paperwork and different medical billing. This can seem overwhelming to the family of someone in a care home, and the social worker is there to help it seem more manageable. It can’t be stressed enough, these tough choices and responsibilities should never interfere with your time with your loved one at the end of their life. Get home from the professionals, make sure your loved one is comfortable, and enjoy the precious moments that you have left, together.

Help From the Hospice Care Home

The staff of the care home or the at home care team will work to make sure that you are always kept informed about what is happening to your loved one when family is not around. You can still communicate and keep in touch around the clock whether or not you’re physically visiting with your family member. You’ll always be able to help them with any potential problems they might be having with adjusting to life in hospice care.

It’s also important to be active in your loved one’s life. Just because they are in hospice care doesn’t mean that you can’t still be close to them. Remaining in close contact with your family member once they enter hospice care will help them emotionally and spiritually as they come to the end of their life.

Daily Hospice Activities

If you’re thinking about going to a hospice facility, or are looking into hospice care for your loved one, it’s reasonable to wonder what hospice patients do during the day. The Mary T Inc hospice service in Minneapolis helps patients live out their lives as normal as possible.

Medical care provided every day

When a patient enters hospice care, it is because they are in the last six months of their life. Hospice care isn’t designed to extend this time, but rather it is to help the last few months to be as comfortable and at peaceful as possible. Part of this comfort comes from medical care to help make sure that they aren’t in any pain. But medical care isn’t the only thing that is provided while under the care of hospice.

Various forms of therapy are available for hospice care patients. This is to make sure that they are emotionally comfortable, and have all the healing resources they need to make them feel as good as they can in the last few months of their lives. They can also receive spiritual counseling wherever they are receiving their hospice care.

Available activities for hospice patients

A patient can do any number of activities while in hospice care. A lot of these activities are unique to the facility or home in which they are residing and depend entirely on the desire of the resident to participate. Hospice care is set up so that the patients have many different activities to occupy their time. Staff will also work with them to be sure that they are able to stay active and do the activities which they desire. Families are strongly encouraged to spend time with patients, talk to them, visit, reminisce, and play games. Hospice care is designed to allow for family time like this and to keep the family from having to be stressed out but trying to coordinate and provide care.

Even if there is something a patient is unable to do, a member of the hospice care staff will assist them. For example, if a patient wants to write a letter to a friend or family member, but are unable to hold a pen, a hospice care staff member can transcribe for them.

There really aren’t any limits to hospice care. The patient can live where they are comfortable and do that which they are able and willing. The staff at Mary T Inc is experienced with providing care throughout the entire continuum and has the facilities available for all stages of care. Contact us today.

How Do You Know When it’s Time for Hospice?

Hospice care is intended to be the place where a patient is to spend the last few months of their lives. It is not a medical facility that will help them recover from an illness, but instead is a place that ensures a patient is not in pain and discomfort prior to passing away.

Mary T Inc hospice service in Coon Rapids, MN offers exceptional care for hospice patients. Entering hospice care can be a difficult decision to make, but it’s not a decision that should be delayed.

Qualifications for Hospice Care

There’s not a real cut and dry answer to exactly who needs to consider hospice care, or when. But, there are a couple of qualifications that a patient must meet to be able to enter hospice care. After they meet those, it then becomes a patient or family decision to make the official call.

To be eligible for hospice care, a patient must have a terminal diagnosis and a life expectancy of less than 6 months. Once these 2 criteria have been met and certified by a physician, there are a number of other factors to consider. These factors can typically be seen progressing in a similar pattern:

  1. The patient’s disease keeps recurring, often more frequently and with greater severity. Often, infections continue to worsen with bacteria becoming more and more resistant to treatment, or a cancer spreads even with treatment.
  2. Trips to the emergency department or hospital become more and more frequent.
  3. The patient experiences changes in appetite, mood, or desire to live with their condition. Desire for treatment wanes.
  4. Treatments begin to cause more and more side effects that cause pain and discomfort.
  5. Quality of life suffers as mobility and motivation decrease. These lead to a lack of independence and the requirement of more and more help just to complete daily tasks. This can be as severe as inability to brush teeth and use the bathroom independently.
  6. Mental state changes can be seen frequently, especially with longer courses of medications, advancing age, and advancing disease. Confusion, forgetfulness, drowsiness, poor sleep, restlessness, and agitation can all be noted.
  7. All of the symptoms and health management take a toll on the family. Commonly, the family becomes the driver of the healthcare and the patient’s daily activities until a discussion takes place and a decision is made.

A quality hospice care service focuses on making the last few months of life as comfortable as possible. The above list is a common outline of the progression of care until a decision for hospice is reached. It’s imperative to have this discussion and make the choice that’s in everyone’s best interest. A patient’s last 6 months need not be stressful. Allow everyone a time to be together, happy, and celebrating the life they lived. Don’t allow it to be a stressful time of trying to keep them alive to the very end, only for them to become confused and agitated. When a patient is no longer interested in invasive treatments or repeated hospital visits, it’s time for hospice care.

Can you be taken off hospice?

Absolutely. Hospice care is not a final death sentence for yourself or for a loved one that cannot be changed. It’s simply a choice to pursue comfort care over treatment a terminal diagnosis. Hospice care can be revoked and treatment resumed, but remember, hospice care provides for a situation for a quality time at the end of one’s life. Aggressive treatment will usually be the opposite, so care must be taken to reverse the decision.

If you have any questions about whether or not it’s time to choose hospice care, contact Mary T Inc right away. Don’t delay getting the proper care for your loved one and making decisions while there is still time and everyone can be involved.

What is it Like in Hospice?

Even though hospice care is meant for individuals who are coming to the end of their life, there are a lot of reasons why going into hospice care isn’t a bad thing. Mary T Inc is a hospice care provider in MN that works with both the individuals entering hospice care as well as their families to ensure that the transition into hospice care is as easy as possible for all parties involved.

Does Hospice Improve Quality of Life?

While under the care of hospice, a patient has access to help and activities that they likely would not have if they were living on their own or with their family. Mary T Inc provides services that help the hospice patient in all aspects of daily living. The purpose of great hospice care is to make sure that each patient can live the rest of their lives with grace and dignity. While the life expectancy of a patient in hospice care is less than 6 months, the quality of those months can be greatly improved in hospice care.

Can You Get Treatment While on Hospice?

The patients in the care of the Mary T Inc hospice team have access to a nurse and a physician at all times. If there’s a chronic condition or a new one that arises, they can receive treatment for it if it’s not their terminal diagnosis. Of course, pain control and palliative care are foundational treatments of hospice care and are always available. Instead of focusing on invasive treatments, hospice medical care is intended to make the patient as physically comfortable as possible in the last few months of their lives. Hospice patients can even see a dietician to help them maintain a healthy diet. Having a healthy diet is important to both physical health and emotional wellbeing.

What is Emotional Care?

It’s important that the hospice patients are as comfortable as possible. This includes emotional care. The patients have access to different kinds of therapy, including massage therapy and musical therapy. These are forms of treatment that are meant to improve their mental state and not just their physical state. Making sure that patients are happy is equally important to making sure that they are physically comfortable.

Maintaining Communication with Hospice Patients

If you live near the Twin Cities, quality hospice care abounds. The hospice care team at Mary T Inc serves the Minneapolis and Coon Rapids areas of Minnesota with in home and in facility care. During these difficult times, it’s important that your loved one in hospice care doesn’t feel abandoned. End of life care should encompass all of your loved one’s needs, most importantly, they need to be in contact with their loved ones as much as possible.

Is it appropriate to visit someone in hospice?

Absolutely, it is. Coming to the end of one’s life can be scary, intimidating, and overwhelming. The last thing to do is avoid your loved one and make them feel abandoned if they are sick. People typically have many questions about hospice care, many answers to these common questions can be found on our hospice FAQ page.

How to Contact a Hospice Patient

Just because your family member or loved one has moved into hospice care doesn’t mean that your communication with them has to stop or even change. If you are unable to visit your loved one due to any number of circumstances, there are many different ways that you can still keep in touch and the team at Mary T Inc can provide everything you need to keep in touch.

Mary T Inc hospice patients have access to multiple forms of communication. They can send and receive physical mail and letters, take and make phone calls and send emails, and video chat is a great option as well. The staff at Mary T Inc will provide any needed assistance to your loved one to send and receive messages and contact those who live outside of the care home.