Contributed by Jill Mendlen, President/CEO/ LightBridge Hospice & Palliative Care.
Hospice and Palliative Care are two comprehensive programs that are dedicated to easing suffering and providing support to patients and their families during their healthcare journey.
Both programs combine the highest level of quality medical care with spiritual and emotional support for patients and their care givers.
Living every day to its fullest is the focus and goal of both hospice and palliative care. Being able to care for patients and their families during a very important and powerful time in life is truly an honor and privilege.
Understanding the unique aspects of each program can help you chose the program that is best for you or your loved one.
Is a specialized type of healthcare designed to provide support and care to individuals in the final phase of a life limiting illness which is defined by Medicare as 6 months or less if a disease follows its normal course. Cure is no longer possible therefore the focus is on comfort and quality of life. Hospice care is provided by a team of professionals which includes – physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides and volunteers. In addition to clinical care hospice also provides medications, equipment and supplies related to the terminal illness.
Hospice Care is fully covered by Medicare, MediCal and most insurance companies and managed care plans.
Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness – whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative Care is generally provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to form an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any state in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Payment for Palliative Care is still evolving. We would be happy to answer questions you may have about how to best access Palliative Care.
Please call us at 858.458.2992 if we can be of any assistance or answer any questions you may have.