Hospice and Palliative Care

Health Sciences & Medicine
2 pages (500 words)
Hospice and palliative care are two forms of care that are aimed at improving the quality of life and reducing or alleviating the effects of symptoms on ill patients. These two forms of care are given to patients in different situations and are not the same. The hospice care is usually for people whose prognosis has already been given to them and that don't have much longer to live and require assistance in this difficult and paralyzing time period or ones who are debilitated and require day-to-day assistance. These services include physical, emotional and spiritual support for clients and their families when they are coping with the life-limiting illness. Clearly, the ill person and family are going through an emotionally difficult time, and their entire well-being, both physical and mental, is shaken. Hospice nurses support them with a compassionate and comprehensive care in an approach that is centered on the patient and making him feel as comfortable and well in familiar surroundings, whether it is in the patient's home or in a homelike setting ("Hospice").

The hospice care has expert nurses that specialize in pain and symptom management. They have the experience on how to alleviate the physical pain the clients are going through and help them become more relaxed and at ease, since this is one of the things that will make their time more pleasant and comfortable. The also helps them cope with the pains and discomforts they feel during the day. Also, chaplains and social workers are there to provide emotional and spiritual needs. The clients can talk to their about their feelings, their thoughts and have someone with expertise and an attentive ear to talk to and relieve their pressure and stresses. Medication and medical supply are also given, as well as equipment assistance- anything the clients need is brought to them to make their lives easier. Furthermore, there are additional relaxation and therapeutic services that provide caretaker support.

The palliative care is similar to the hospice in terms of the last service mentioned in the hospice’s services. The palliative care actually includes any sort of medical care or treatment that focuses on reducing the severity of the disease’s symptoms in any way possible, including stress release and forms of relaxation techniques that help lower anxiety levels and make clients feel better. In other words, the palliative care focuses on relief from pain and other symptoms disrupting the client’s well-being and comfort including nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue and shortness of breath. These are supplemented by relief from stress, which is also very important. The services help educate clients about their choices of care, how to improve their daily functioning and their physical and mental tolerance to the medical treatments and resulting side-effects. There is an emphasis on dealing with the emotions that ensue following the learning of the prognosis (“Palliative Care”).

Unlike hospice care, palliative care can be provided at any point during the person’s illness and can start as early as the time of diagnosis. It aims not only to better the quality of the client’s life but also to help strengthen him in order for his body to fight the disease better. A team of chaplains, massage therapists, nutritionists and pharmacists are added to the team of doctors, nurses and social care workers who specialize in palliative care, and together they combine a comprehensive treatment that includes treatment of pain and other symptoms, help navigating the healthcare system, guidance with treatment choices, practical information and assistance and emotional and spiritual support for the client and family members.

Both the hospice and the palliative care and crucially important in helping clients live a better life that is characterized by more comfort, relaxation, support and assistance being given from the surroundings and help terminally ill patients as well as ones that struggle with the disease, improving their way of life in every aspect of their lives.


“Hospice”, In Care home health (2009): n. pag. November 5, 2009.


“Palliative Care”, Get Palliative Care (2009): n. pag. November 5, 2009.

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