The loss of good heath for yourself, friend or loved one, as well as, the end of life is a daunting realization but never the less something that many of us have to face during our life time. It is a very difficult decision for you and your loved ones to initiate Palliative Care but extremely important if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious illness. Palliative Care and Hospice Care both focus on improving your quality of life including pain management, providing support to you and your family and providing care by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialist, as well as, providing spiritual support if requested. Although, Palliative Care and Hospice Care are very similar many individuals are most familiar with Hospice Care which is often administered in the home. Palliative Care is often administered in a hospital, extended care facility or a nursing home associated with a Palliative Care team.
To be considered for Hospice Care you must be considered terminal or within 6 months of death which is determined by a Physician. However, for Palliative Care there is no time limitation and therefore, at any stage in a serious illness you can request such care. Additionally, the Palliative Care team can help you understand your treatment choices and help you navigate the healthcare system. Palliative Care is “increasingly used with regard to diseases other than cancer”; those other diseases are, progressive pulmonary disorders, renal disease, chronic heart failure, HIV/AIDS, progressive neurological disorders and other serious conditions.
Facts and Figures
“An estimated 1.5 to 1.6 million patients utilized Hospice and/or Palliative Care in 2012 according to reports provided by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization”. See this information http://tinyurl.com/kkf79d8 with regard to the number Americans utilizing Hospice and Palliative Care. Unfortunately, I could not find more recent figures. Also, online resources are worth reviewing http://tinyurl.com/kpd2a9d
I have given you a very cursory overview of Palliative and Hospice Care however, it was my intent to at least plant a seed so that you may continue your research.