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Is Palliative Care The Same as End-of-Life Care?

It is important to understand what are the differences between different forms of late-stage care when dealing with a serious and terminal disease. Let's discuss the specifics of palliative and end-of-life care to help you make informed decisions when the time comes. 

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is designed to take care of the symptoms, pain, and stress that comes with a serious illness without necessarily trying to prolong life. This form of care is not limited to the last stages of life, but can be provided along with general treatments throughout any phase of the disease. The main services included in palliative care are:

  • Symptom Management: Managing pain, fatigue, nausea and other discomforts.
  • Psychological and Spiritual Support
  • Coordination of Care: Helping healthcare providers to coordinate treatment and provide feedback about treatment.
  • Family and Caregiver Support: Providing help and support to families and caretakers.

What is End-of-Life Care?

End-of-life care is meant for those individuals who are about to reach the final stages of their terminal disease. This type of care is comfort-based and does not specifically aim to cure the illness, but rather focuses on increasing the patient’s well-being. It can be offered in homes, nursing homes, or hospitals. It offers services, such as:

  • Medical Treatment for Symptoms: Managing symptoms to ensure the highest comfort possible.
  • Emotional and Spiritual Support
  • Assistance with Daily Activities: Helping with everyday tasks such as dressing, cooking, toiletries...
  • Caregiver Support: Providing resources and support for caregivers of the patient.

Key Differences

Time

Palliative care and end-of-life treatment differ mostly in the time applied. Palliative care can be started at any stage of a serious disease, while end-of-life care is for the later stages of a person’s living days, where only comfort and quality of life matter.

Treatment Goals

End-of-life care and palliative care also differ in treatment goals. End-of-life care focuses mainly on providing a peaceful and relaxed transition towards the end of the journey. In some cases, this could include stopping or decreasing some treatments that are no longer helpful. On the other hand, palliative care aims to enhance the quality of life. It can be delivered together with the therapeutic treatment, and it is not as focused on transitioning the patient towards death.  

Palliative care and End-of-life care is an important part of providing comfort and dignity during the hardest times of a critical disease. Patients and relatives can make choices that are the best fit for them in that difficult part of life. 

Credits:
Rome, R. B., Luminais, H. H., Bourgeois, D. A., & Blais, C. M. (2011). The role of palliative care at the end of life. The Ochsner Journal, 11(4), 348.
Palliative care
What end-of-life care involves
What Is Palliative Care?

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All our caregivers are state-certified and provide services like personal carehousekeepingcompanionship, help with medication, and transportation assistance. We've spent 15 years refining our caregiver selection process to ensure families' peace of mind. Reach out for details and quotes.

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