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What’s the Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care?

November 11, 2019

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and the team from Hartford HealthCare at Home wants to help those in need of these services make the right decisions during what is a critical time for them and their loved ones.

Hospice and palliative care offer compassionate care to patients with life-limiting illnesses, but there are important differences between the two. Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms related to serious, chronic illnesses. Palliative Care can be used at any stage of illness —and not just the advanced stages. Hartford HealthCare at Home provides palliative care focused on quality of life and a broad treatment plan. Our staff supports patients and families through the disease process, offering a bridge to hospice care if that becomes necessary.

Hospice care is palliative care but with a focus on serving and comforting patients and families at the end of their lives or as the illness becomes terminal. Both palliative care and hospice care use a team approach to focus on quality of life or “comfort care,” including the active management of pain and other symptoms, as well as the psychological, social and spiritual issues often experienced with serious illness and at the end of life.

Hartford HealthCare at Home supports and helps educate patients in options and choices for the highest quality of life. The team works together to ensure that the patient’s physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs are met and that the family feels supported throughout all stages of their journey.

“Our programs involve a comprehensive team that consists of an MD, Nurse, Spiritual Counselor, Social worker, Volunteers and therapy to treat the patient holistically,” said Holly Bessoni-Lutz, the Director of Hospice and Palliative Care for Hartford HealthCare at Home. “They allow the patients to stay at home if that is their choice in order to spend time with their loved ones in a familiar, comfortable environment.”

Hartford HealthCare at Home’s hospice program is backed by the expertise and resource-rich environment Hartford HealthCare provides through our acute hospital inpatient hospice units, skilled nursing centers, outpatient cancer centers and hospice specialty physicians. We can offer patients and families the absolute best resources and support system available in the areas we serve.

For more information on our Hospice and Palliative Care programs, please visit Hartford HealthCare at Home.