Prime Times Briefs: Palliative care vs. hospice – what is the difference?

        November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. There is, however, some confusion now about the difference between palliative care and hospice.
        In 2022, Hospice of Northwest Ohio provided care for more than 2,300 patients and their families in their own homes, in nursing homes and at its freestanding Hospice Centers. Since serving its first patients in 1981, the level of understanding in the community of what hospice care is has increased.
        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’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.
Questions about Medicare?
        Medicare Open Enrollment runs through Thursday, Dec. 7.
        Trained Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program volunteers are available to help those who are new to Medicare or those who have questions regarding open enrollment.
        Contact Dianne Mortensen at Ottawa County Senior Resources at 419-898-6459 or Rachel Fall at Magruder Hospital at 419-732-4061 to schedule an appointment for an  in-person or phone meeting.
        A Medicare Part D Worksheet is available to help make comparisons. The worksheet is available on the Senior Resources website at, at all county senior centers or by calling Magruder Hospital or Ottawa County Senior Resources.
Life Line Screenings coming to Oak Harbor
        Residents living in and around the Oak Harbor can learn about their risk for cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and other chronic, serious conditions with affordable screenings by Life Line Screening.
          Shoreline Church, located at 769 N. Locust St., will host this community event on Monday, Dec. 4. Free parking is also available. 
        Screenings can check for:
        • The level of plaque buildup in your arteries, related to risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and overall vascular health.
        • HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.
        • Diabetes risk.
        • Kidney and thyroid function, and more.
        Special package pricing starts at $159, but consultants will work with clients to create a package that is right for them based on age and risk factors.
        Pre-registration is required. Call 1-877-237-1287 or visit for more information.
Department of Aging offering online job trainings
        Ohioans age 55 and older have the opportunity to obtain job training, designed to empower older adults to find opportunities in the modern workforce, through the Ohio Department of Aging’s (ODA) Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).
        ODA SCSEP provider Vantage Aging will host a series of online workshops for older Ohioans who are looking to re-enter the workforce.
        Upcoming workshops will cover the following topics:
        • Job Search Strategies for Older Workers – Dec. 14 (registration required).
        • Seniors, Computers, and Cybersecurity – Jan. 11 (registration required).
        “Older workers are a valuable asset to Ohio’s workforce,” said ODA Director Ursel J. McElroy. “They bring skills and years of experience to the workplace, have a strong work ethic, and they are likely to find work enjoyable and fulfilling. We are proud to support these upcoming job seeker workshops and encourage participation among older Ohioans looking for new and exciting opportunities to put their talents to use.”
        SCSEP is a paid community service and work-based job training program for Ohioans 55 and older who are unemployed. Learn more about the program on ODA’s SCSEP webpage,
        To learn more about the upcoming job workshops or view other upcoming events through Vantage Aging, visit


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