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Confused About Palliative Care Vs. Hospice Care? You Aren’t Alone

MomDaughter_iStock-171299084Dear Carol: My mom has advanced lung disease as well as late-stage Alzheimer’s. We know that there are no cures for either of her current conditions, but the doctors don’t seem to have any useful answers for me when I ask about how I can make her life better at this stage. She has an inhaler for her lungs, but they don’t seem willing to prescribe medications or advice other than keep her comfortable. Well, how do I go about that? Should she be on hospice? I’ve heard of something called palliative care, but I don’t understand it and no doctor has mentioned it. Can you help me? – CV

Dear CV: I’m sorry about your mom’s health. We can feel so helpless when we watch a loved one suffer, especially when the doctors to whom we look for advice seem to give up. 

Palliative care and hospice are related in that they both provide comfort care. The difference is that palliative care is for people who need comfort care while they are being treated for their medical diagnoses. Palliative care is delivered by a specially trained team of health specialists who provide quality of life for the patient as well as the patient’s family. For instance, if someone has cancer and they need emotional support, pain management, and stress relief 

Continue reading on Egosancares for more information about the difference between hospice care and palliative care. 

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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