Differences between Palliative Care, Comfort Care, and Hospice Care

Differences between Palliative Care, Comfort Care, and Hospice Care

Heather and Ayasha are back to discuss the differences between Palliative Care, Comfort Care, and Hospice Care.
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Differences between Palliative Care, Comfort Care, and Hospice Care


Ayasha Thomason

Hi. I’m Ayasha Thomason.

Heather Stallings

And I’m Heather Stallings

Ayasha Thomason

And today we’re going to talk about the differences between palliative care, hospice care, comfort care, and end of life care. So we did not put out a weekly video last week due to the death of Heather’s grandmother. And, Heather, all of us at ICP are really sorry for the loss of your grandmother. And so we thought it would be a good idea today for us to discuss some of these different topics, such as palliative care, hospice, end of life care. So, Heather, how are you doing?

Heather Stallings

I’m doing really well, all things considered.

Ayasha Thomason

Heather, tell me about the care that she received. And then as an NP, you have some personal insight on this because you are a long term care provider and you deal with patients like your grandmother on a daily basis. 

Heather Stallings

My grandma actually looked to me, along with my family, because I am a medical provider and because I work in long term care to help in this process. And while my grandma was still awake and alert, she told us she wanted to fight, she was not ready to go, and that she didn’t want me to leave her side and wanted me to help make these decisions. And so that’s what I did and that’s what our family did. And so when it comes to making those decisions. Palliative care was not an option because this was a sudden thing for her. She got sick and got in the hospital, and she was otherwise healthy before that. 

Ayasha Thomason

What I think people get confused about, though, is palliative care and comfort care and hospice. They use it all in the same terminology and it’s really not like palliative care, I don’t think is ever done early enough. I mean, people can have serious complex diseases and as we know we see them, there are long term care patients. They live for years and years with these serious conditions. Palliative care is something that you can start very early on and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re cutting off all life saving measures. 

Heather Stallings

Right. Everybody thinks if you mention that word “Oh it’s done” like we’re just giving up.

Ayasha Thomason

Hospice are patients that are not seeking a cure for their illness. Their goal is to manage pain and improve their comfort and quality of life until the end of life. 

Heather Stallings

But there are people who actually get put on hospice care and then wind up coming out of it and living. Even though hospice care is more of that end of life care, it still doesn’t mean that it’s over. Hospice was not an option for our family because my grandma wanted to fight. And so that was what we continued to do until the bitter end. And so we did comfort care in order to fight and continue to treat for her but also provide that comfort she needed so she was not suffering. 

Ayasha Thomason

Thank you, Heather, for sharing your story with us. All of our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family right now. We love you. 

 

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