Hard Decision Making: Changing From Curative Care To Palliative Care, And On To Hospice

The decision to seek palliative care instead of curative care can be complex. Changing over to hospice care may feel like giving up. Healthcare providers will do their best to discuss with you the options for you or your loved one as you make these difficult choices.

Curative Care is Treatment that is Aiming to Cure You

Getting curative care is the treatment you receive when you go to your doctor for a problem that can be remedied through medication or therapy. This is the level of care you get when you are in a nursing home on a rehabilitation unit, with the goal of returning home recovered. 

Palliative Care is Treatment that Makes You More Comfortable

Palliative care is treatment that aims to make you happier and have a better quality of life. Anyone with a serious illness can receive palliative care, in addition to curative care or not. Palliative care workers will discuss your future options, the effect your illness is having on you and your loved ones, and help you problem solve any issues arise. Palliative care differs slightly from hospice care, but it is the precursor to hospice care for most patients. Palliative care helps patients make the transition from curative care to hospice care.

Hospice Care is for Patients in the End Stage of a Serious Illness

Hospice care is care for those that are sick and are facing the end of a battle with a serious illness. Hospice care is more structured than palliative care, and patients on hospice no longer receive curative care treatments. This means a patient on hospice care isn't going to start a new cancer medication trial. The goal of hospice care is to make the patient comfortable, and to help the family negotiate the intricacies of end of life issues.

Hospice care is for patients who are expected to live six months or less. Hospice is designed to help ease the stress of the person dying, and of the family that is trying to care for them at home. Hospice offers guidance throughout the process, pain management, counseling, medication assistance and more. Hospice is a valuable resource for families that want to care for a dying loved one in the comfort of their own home.

When you are asked to make tough decisions for a loved one, work closely with experts, such as the professionals at Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, who can guide you through the process. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Know that the overall health of your loved one can no longer be cured, and you are making a solid decision when you choose their comfort. Hospice care will allow you or your loved one to die with dignity.