palliative care vs. hospice

What is community based palliative care?

Palliative care is a team approach to treating patients with chronic and/or terminal illness in a home based setting. Our team consists of Palliative Care trained Physicians, Advanced Practice Nurses and Licensed Clinical Social Workers who work in conjunction with primary care Physicians. Our goal is a holistic treatment approach that addresses both medical and psychosocial needs, including symptom management, counseling and community service support.

There is a growing recognition in the health care community that repeated hospitalizations can be unnecessary and traumatic when dealing with chronic symtomology related to long term illness. The trend toward community based services and palliative care is guided by this trend.

Transitions Home Medical Group offers a variety of community based services for those that qualify. Our patient and family-centered services focus on quality of life, along with the prevention and treatment of suffering. Services include:

  • Physician Services
  • Palliative Care
  • Social Service Support
  • Counseling Services
  • Volunteer Support
  • Ongoing Education
  • Bereavement Services


Understanding palliative care vs hospice

At Transitions, our philosophy is to empower patients and families by providing medical, emotional and social service support that is necessary to embrace life. That philosophy fuels all the services that we provide and guides our company mission.

There are many misconceptions about palliative care vs. hospice. In order to qualify for hospice services, a person must be diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of six months or less, as determined by a physician. The goal of hospice care is to provide comfort and dignity through end of life. We also firmly believe that it is the responsibility of the hospice agency to support the family caregivers during this stressful time. Our teams are well trained to assess and manage the needs of both patients and families.

Palliative care is appropriate for any person that has a chronic and/or terminal illness, regardless of life expectancy, in which additional support is needed to manage symptoms. Palliative care services can be provided in any setting and for a variety of different diseases and symptoms.

The bottom line in understanding palliative care vs. hospice can be summed up in this distinguishing phrase: All hospice is palliative care but not all palliative care is hospice.

Both palliative and hospice care include monitoring of symptoms and adjusting medications and treatments accordingly. These services can be delivered wherever the patient calls home, including healthcare facilities, assisted living facilities, as well as the patient’s own home.


When is palliative care a viable option?

There are some diseases that may need long-term management of symptoms (not an exhaustive list):

  • CHF
  • COPD
  • Cancer
  • Dementia
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • ALS
  • Depression

Palliative care may be advantageous when changes in healthcare conditions occur, including:

  • Recent hospitalization
  • Diagnosis with a new illness
  • Changes in mental status
  • Multiple illnesses
  • Post surgical rehabilitation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

Transitions Home Medical Group services are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and self pay. Contact your primary care physician to determine if palliative care might be an appropriate option for you.



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