There are times in life when people have to think about situations that may make them uncomfortable or that are difficult to consider. For instance, if a Georgia resident is diagnosed with a terminal illness or is reaching his or her elderly years, it may be necessary to consider the type of care that person would want nearing the end of life. While it may be challenging to think about, having these plans in advance could make necessary transitions go more smoothly.
In cases where it is unlikely that a patient will recover from an illness, having arrangements made for comfort care or in-home care may be desirable. When some individuals think of in-home end-of-life care, they may think of hospice care, which involves someone with a short life expectancy receiving palliative care from a team offering various types of support. Hospice care falls in line with palliative care, but they are not one in the same.
Some ways in which these types of care differ include the following:
- Hospice care is usually for individuals who have a maximum of six months to live.
- Hospice care focuses on comfort and symptom management but does not involve trying to cure an illness.
- Palliative care also focuses on comfort and symptom management but can be used in conjunction with curative treatment.
Knowing the differences in these terms is important because Georgia residents may want palliative care along with curative treatment as part of their medical care. However, if they create an advance healthcare directive indicating they want hospice care, it may not have the desired outcome. This and similar information along with planning could help ensure that someone facing a terminal situation will have the type of care they feel most appropriate.