Palliative care and end-of-life care have a lot in common, because both types of care are for people living with serious illness and both aim to improve quality of life.
However, the main difference of palliative care vs end of life care is that end-of-life care is for people diagnosed with a terminal illness who have six months or less to live, whereas palliative care is for people at any stage of serious illness, even as early as the day of diagnosis, and are therefore still pursuing curative treatment.
Is Palliative and End-of-Life Care the Same?
Palliative care and end-of-life care are similar because they both relieve pain, increase comfort, and improve quality of life.
Both are sensitive to what matters most to you – including your personal, cultural and religious values, beliefs, practices and preferences. And both are delivered by a team of professionals who can work alongside your regular doctors to provide an added layer of support and expertise. But there are a number of key differences.
What are the Differences in Palliative Care vs. End-of-Life Care?
The differences between palliative care and end-of-life care include:
- Palliative care is provided to seriously ill patients coping with pain, distressing symptoms, stress or other serious side effects of their illness or treatments meant to cure it. End-of-life care is provided to seriously ill patients who have a prognosis of six months or less, in their doctor’s best judgment, if the disease follows its normal course.
- Palliative care is for anyone living with a serious illness at any stage, while end-of-life care is for the last few weeks or months of life. Meaning palliative care is intended to help patients live more comfortably with their ongoing condition.
- Palliative care is for anyone seeking curative treatments, while end-of-life care is for someone who has decided to forgo curative treatments and seek comfort care in the last few months, weeks, or days of their life.
- Palliative care is provided during a consultation in an office setting or a visit in the hospital, while end-of-life care is provided in your home, nursing home or assisted living, or inpatient hospice facility.
- Palliative care is provided by a palliative-trained, board-certified physician or nurse practitioner. Hospice care is provided by a board-certified physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, social worker, spiritual support counselor, certified home health aide, and volunteer.
Get More Information on Palliative Care vs. End-of-Life Care
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