Palliative care vs. hospice - what’s the difference?

Press Staff Writer

        November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. In 2019, Hospice of Northwest Ohio provided care for more than 2,500 patients and their families in their own homes, in nursing homes and at our freestanding hospice centers. Since serving its first patients in 1981, the level of understanding in the community of what hospice care is has increased. There is, however, some confusion now about the difference between palliative care and hospice.
        All hospice care is palliative, but not all palliative care is hospice.
        Palliative care – support for the seriously ill
        Palliative care enables seriously ill patients who are not on hospice to experience relief from debilitating pain and symptoms or the side effects of treatment. While overall patient care continues to be managed by the referring physician, highly skilled nurse practitioners, social workers and chaplains visit patients in their homes to manage symptoms and also conduct in-depth discussions about disease process, treatment options and goals of care. Expert nurse navigators provide additional phone support, weekdays.
        Whether patients fully recover or continue to decline, they will have an improved quality of life because of the additional layer of support they receive from the Sincera palliative care team. The costs of care are covered by Medicare Part B, Medicaid and other insurances.
        For more information on Hospice of Northwest Ohio’s local, community-based palliative care service, visit or call 419-931-3440.   
        Hospice – comprehensive care for the terminally ill
        Hospice provides a much more comprehensive range of care and services, and is designed for people who have a life expectancy of six months or less who are no longer pursuing curative treatment. Care is provided by an interdisciplinary team – wherever patients live – and includes physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains, volunteers and various therapists. Support is available 24/7. Medical equipment and all medicines related to the terminal illness are also included as part of the program. Emotional and spiritual support is available to the family as well as the patient; bereavement services are provided at no charge, long after the patient dies.
        The costs of care are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most other insurances. Hospice of Northwest Ohio turns no one away due to inability to pay.
        For more information, visit or call 419-661-4001.



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