Palliative care vs hospice care: What's the difference?

Jan 21, 2021 | Joey Keillor | @joeykeillor | Comments (2)



The discussion on palliative care in the Aging Well group has been robust and is on-going. But the role of palliative care — as compared to hospice care — is often misunderstood.

While specialty palliative care and hospice care — a type of palliative care for people with terminal illness — are distinct, they both provide interdisciplinary teams of professionals to envelop you in medical, emotional and spiritual support. Their collective expertise can improve your quality of life and ease physical symptoms and distress.

Some people don’t experience the full benefits of palliative or hospice care, sometimes due to misunderstandings about what these services offer or because referral to these services is delayed or not offered.

Use the Venn diagram below to better understand the similarities and differences of palliative care and hospice care:


Screen Shot 2021-01-21 at 1


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@joeykeillor and all...Thank you. You simplified the distinction with that diagram. I now understand what palliative care offers and how it can help me. In fact, I'm involved with palliative care at Mayo Jacksonville, through the back door. I've been visiting Mayo for several years for autoimmune diseases and other issues I long overlooked or received less than Mayo level care. Through the Mayo process, I'm healing in a variety of areas.

I'm blessed with quite a team of kind, caring, and knowledgeable folks. One of my doctors referred me recently to the Integrated Services Department, Dr. Perlman. I had no understanding of this area of care, but the doctor who referred me, Dr. Bobo, has my respect. I know he is working to help me heal in all areas of my life. So, I've now had massage therapy, wonderful-not new to me but not available for several years. Then, I met with Dr. Perlman, director. My goodness, what this man has done to help me is remarkable. He included a nutritionist to help with my very limited, restricted diet. She's exactly what I needed. And, now, acupuncture. I was skeptical that this would help me. After the first session, I left with a deep, inner relaxation I've never felt. Now, with weekly acupuncture, I'm healing in body, mind, and spirit.

In fact, as I'm typing, I'm listening to a lovely concert of Christmas music on YouTube recommended by a friend on Connect, one of the best gifts available to Mayo patients. So many of us older folks are alone, especially during the covid isolation. I now have Connect friends freezing in Minn. and Oregon and Canada and even in the UK and India! We share, we understand, we listen, we help each other through the aging process. What healing I get from Connect - I'm not alone anymore!

Mayo is giving me healing. teaching me how to manage pain in this body, helping me reduce the severity and number of drugs, guiding me to this world of inner peace and real healing.

Thank you, everyone. I believe I'm receiving palliative care from my Mayo team. What a lovely surprise!
Blessings to you all. elizabeth

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