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Understanding Hospice and Palliative Care 

It’s About How You Live

We are here with care and support for you and your loved one through the duration of illness.

Hospice and palliative (pronounced PAL-lee-uh-tiv) care are considered models of quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury. At Hospice Buffalo, we believe that everyone coping with serious illness deserves to direct their course of care and to fully live in comfort, with grace, dignity and peace.

Difference Between Palliative Care and Hospice

Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort, but palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped and when it is clear that the person is not going to survive the illness. 

Although there is a difference between hospice and palliative care, both services manage symptoms to help keep your loved one comfortable. Both share a holistic and integrative approach to the care by treating the whole person — physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially. Both types of care focus on relieving symptoms, pain and stress, for the patient, their caregivers, and their family.

What defines Hospice Care? 

Hospice Care is for people with life-limiting illness who are no longer receiving curative treatments and have an expected prognosis of 6 months or less. Download Hospice Myths & Facts flyer.

What defines Palliative Care? 

Palliative Care is for people with chronic or progressive illness who may still be receiving curative treatments  it does not require a limited prognosis. Download What is Palliative Care flyer.

5 Principles of Hospice and Palliative Care

Life should not be measured by number of days, but quality of days.

  1. Provide relief from pain and symptoms.
  2. Integrate medical, psychological, psychosocial and spiritual care.
  3. Offer a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death.
  4. Offer a support system to help the family cope during the patient's illness and during their own bereavement.
  5. Advocate for consumer choice and patient/family participation in the plan of care.

Difference between our Palliative Care and Hospice Care Services

Criteria & ServicePalliative Care
 Being Treated for Chronic or
 Progressive Illness
 Terminally ill with Prognosis
 of 6 months or less
 Physician/Medical Consultation X X
 Nurse Visits X X
 Social Work X X
 Home Health Aide   X
 Expressive Therapies X (only Essential
Care for Children)
 Spiritual Care X (upon request) X
 Volunteer Support X X
 Bereavement   X
 Medications   X
 Supplies   X
 Medical Equipment   X
 Home Care X X
 In Assisted Living &
 Developmentally Disabled Homes
 In Nursing Homes   X
 In Hospitals   X
 Inpatient Care Unit   X
 Respite Care   X

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History of Palliative Care

In the 1960s, Dame Cecily Saunders developed the modern hospice movement in Great Britain. In the 1970s, a Canadian oncologist, Dr. Balfour Mount, started incorporating the principles of hospice into patient care before people approached the end of life. He coined the term “palliative care.”

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