Your Health in Mind: Understanding palliative care and hospice care

By Dee Griffin

Palliative care and hospice care are two types of care that are often confused with one another.

Palliative care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness with an overall goal of improving the quality of life for both the patient and their family. This type of care can be provided at any stage in an illness, and it can be given alongside curative treatments. The primary goal of palliative care is to help patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall well-being, regardless of their prognosis.

Palliative care is an option for anyone who has a serious chronic or terminal medical condition. It can be sought as soon as an individual receives a diagnosis of a serious, life-altering condition. Palliative care if focused on improving the quality of life for the patient and their family by managing pain and other symptoms, providing emotional and spiritual support, and improving communication with healthcare providers.

Deciding factors for seeking palliative care include the need for symptoms management, support for emotional and spiritual distress, and assistance with navigating complex medical decisions.

Hospice care is a type of palliative care that is specifically designed for patients who are nearing the end of their life. Hospice care is typically provided to patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less, and who have decided to forgo curative treatments in favor of comfort care. The primary goal of hospice care is to provide comfort and support to both the patient and their family during the end-of-life process. Hospice care can be provided in a variety of settings, including the patient’s home, a hospice facility, or a hospital.

Proper timing for palliative and hospice care can greatly improve the patient’s quality of life and provide comfort and support during a difficult time. Ultimately, the goal of both palliative and hospice care is to provide compassionate care that addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients and their families.

Dee Anne Griffin owns Dynamic Health Solutions, LLC and is a Family Nurse Practitioner. She has worked in the medical field for more than 20 years. She listens and recommends different options to create a unique plan that fits each individual. When not practicing medicine Griffin spends time on her family farm tending to her animals and is very active in her church. Contact her at 803-454-1661. Her offices are located at 169 A Medical Circle, West Columbia.

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