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What is Hospice Palliative Care?

Hospice palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying by helping individuals and families.  It addresses physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical issues as well as associated expectations, needs, hopes and fears.  By treating all active issues and preventing new issues from occurring it provides opportunities for meaningful and valuable experiences as well as personal and spiritual growth.  It helps patients and their families prepare for and manage the end-of-life choices, the dying process and cope with loss and grief.

What is the difference between the terms Palliative Care, Hospice Palliative Care and Hospice?

Hospice palliative care is a philosophy of care that aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying. It is appropriate for any individual and/or family living with, or at risk of developing, a life-threatening illness. It includes end-of-life care, but is not limited to the time immediately preceding death.

Palliative care is often used interchangeably with hospice palliative care.

Hospice is used to describe a variety of specific services, supports and care settings. Residential hospices create a home-like environment for patients who are at the end of their lives and need constant, sometimes intensive, care.  In contrast, visiting hospices offer care through out-patient facilities or by travelling to a patient’s home.

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