Palliative Care vs Hospice Care

hospice 87515777When you are faced with the decision of choosing whether palliative care or hospice care better suites the needs of you, or your loved ones; it is best to know the definition and relationship between the two before deciding. 

Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms that are related to a chronic illness, such as cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, AIDS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological diseases. Palliative care can be used at any stage of illness –not just advanced stages.

 Hospice care is palliative by nature, but is only offered when the patient has progress to a point where curative treatment is no longer desired. Hospice care supports the patient, and their families, on the journey to end of life focusing on relieving symptoms and offering comfort from pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and insomnia.

 Although there are differences between palliative care and hospice care, there is a relationship between the two. Knowing the treatment differences and similarities may be helpful when making your decision, including: 

  • Treatments are not limited with palliative care and can range from conservative to aggressive or curative.
  • Hospice care treatments are limited and focus on the palliation of symptoms. The goal is no longer to cure, but to promote comfort.
  • Palliative care can be considered at any time during the course of a chronic illness.
  • With hospice care, Medicare requires that a physician certify that a patient’s condition is terminal. The physician must certify that a patient’s life expectancy is six months or less.
  • Both palliative and hospice care can be delivered at any location.
  • Palliative care services are typically provided through regular physician and nursing visits.
  • Hospice care services are more inclusive than palliative care services. Hospice care includes physician services, nursing services, social worker, spiritual care, bereavement care and volunteers. In some cases physical, occupational, speech and dietary therapy services, as well as other counseling services are deemed necessary as part of the hospice holistic care plan to manage terminal symptoms and provide support for the individual and their family. 

It is important to know that choosing palliative care or hospice care is about comfort, control, dignity and quality of life and not about giving up. If you, or a loved one should need information on palliative or hospice care, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Palliative Care and Hospice Care services can help. To schedule an appointment for an evaluation, or to just talk, call 718-206-6914.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How much Bacteria is your Baby’s Pacifier Holding?

Jamaica Hospital NewsletterThe pacifier is the saving grace for many new parents to soothe their crying baby. However, what parents may not know are the germs harbored on the pacifier could be causing more harm than good to their baby’s health. If you have noticed your child is more prone to being diagnosed with strep throat and ear infections, the pacifier maybe the culprit.

Germs are not just on the surface of the pacifier. The porous rubber top of the pacifier is likely to grow bacteria from the inside out.  Research conducted at the Tulsa Wellness Care Center found standard lab cultures produced strep bacteria, various strains of staph and the bacteria that cause pneumonia. The pacifier samples also produced the yeast that causes thrush. Thinking you can clean or disinfect the pacifier for continual use? Not necessarily. Even after washing and boiling a pacifier, these bacterias build a resistance under a complex structure called ‘biofilm’ and continue to harbor and grow. Surprisingly, the life expectancy of a pacifier, even after continual cleaning and “disinfecting”, is only two weeks.

So after this information, what should a parent fdo? Quit cold turkey? Cry it out? Here are a few helpful tips to ease the distress for both parent and baby:

  • Take it away early- newborns have a sucking reflex due to hunger, but by three months of age, it’s non-nutritive. Instead, try soothing your baby rocking or holding them.
  • Make it taste bad- Once they are older, they have developed their taste buds and are biased to certain tastes. Parents have tried vinegar or lemon to make it taste bad, but once it becomes unappealing, your child may be pacifier-free.
  • Take it away gradually- using it only for naps can be helpful and then gradually letting go the need for it.
  • Cut the tops off of the pacifier- an unconventional method, but possibly helpful. Place them strategically where he or she may find them and they will realize they are no longer able to use.

A healthy, happy baby will appreciate your caution in the long run.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.