Palliative Care and Hospice

Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized care to treat the discomfort symptoms, stress and pain of people dealing with serious or life-threatening illness. Palliative care does not necessarily replace the primary treatment for an illness, but can work with the primary treatments to prevent or ease pain, suffering or stress and thereby improve a patients quality of life.

Palliative care is provided by physicians, nurses, social workers and other professionals with special training and can be provided in many care settings including hospitals, nursing homes assisted living and a patients private home.

Palliative care is sometimes seen as interchangeable with hospice care which is not really the case. Palliative care can be appropriate for people at any time during an illness, not just when they may be near the end of life. While hospice care is a “palliative” form of care, it is focused on end of life care. Palliative care, however, is provided to many people who are treated and recover from their illness. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for both the patient and family.

The provision of palliative care is entirely consistent with our mission that promotes the dignity of life and treatment to relieve pain and suffering as well as the provision of supportive spiritual care.

For more information about Palliative Care, visit the New Hampshire Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Hospice Care

Hospice is a special healthcare option for patients and families who are faced with a terminal illness. Hospice provides palliative care when curative treatment is no longer the patient’s choice. Care takes place in the patient’s home or a home-like setting, such as a nursing home, and serves patients of all ages. Hospice views the patient, family and disease process from a holistic perspective addressing the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of each patient and family. Hospice care for Medicare eligible individuals is provided by Medicare certified organizations and the care team at our nursing center can help patients and families understand the options for receiving Hospice care when it may be an appropriate choice.