End of Life Care in Elmhurst, IL

Read why end of life care is different from palliative care and an important part of the end of life for seniors in Elmhurst, IL

In its simplest form, end of life care refers to the supports and services provided to a senior to prepare them for a dignified death. End of life, or hospice care, is limited to the final six months of a senior's expected life and may begin once the decision has been made to cease curative treatments.

How Is End Of Life Care Different From Palliative Care in Elmhurst, IL?

End of life care is often confused with palliative care. As a result, many seniors do not receive the range of supports and services available to them.

Palliative care, also known as comfort care, refers to supports and services designed to lessen an individual's pain and suffering. Palliative care can be started at any time during an illness or injury and may be used in conjunction with treatments and therapies intended to cure an individual or restore their health. If an individual's condition becomes terminal, palliative care can still be continued under the umbrella of hospice care.

The misunderstanding is that palliative care is an important component of end of life care necessary to provide comfort and support while eliminating pain and improving a senior's quality of life, but it is not subject to the same limitations as hospice. Taking advantage of palliative care is often delayed because seniors or their families are afraid that curative treatments will be stopped or that terminal care will be initiated.

Palliative care should be started as soon as possible after treatment for a major illness or accident begins. Once a situation becomes terminal, palliative care continues, but there are some additional elements of comfort care that can now be considered. For example, care often includes a heavier use of opioids that can lead to altered states of consciousness.

In short, palliative care is an essential part of hospice services. While hospice care is limited to the final sixth months of a person's life and cannot be combined with curative treatments, palliative care works in conjunction with curative and restorative treatments and can be started at any time during a person's illness or injury.

For more information about end of life care, or to learn about the many ways Comfort Keepers can work with your palliative care provider to enhance your senior loved one's quality of life, contact a senior care coordinator today. 

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