November is Hospice and Palliative Care month. While palliative and hospice care share a kindred approach and certain commonalities, they are also distinct practices.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHCPO) provides helpful information to help explain palliative care. Here’s a snapshot: Palliative care helps individuals with a serious illness, at any age and any stage of their illness. Palliative patients do not require a terminal diagnosis and often still receive curative treatment for their condition in parallel with palliative care. Palliative care provides a specialized team working alongside primary care treatment plans, to add support for concerns such as pain, shortness of breath, depression, nausea, and difficulty sleeping, to name a few. Palliative care is intended to improve quality of life and give a patient more control by improving their ability to cope with primary treatments and by helping them understand their treatment options.