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Understanding Hospice and Palliative Care 

It’s About How You Live

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

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 hospice can only begin when it is apparent that the person is not going to survive and treatment of the disease has stoppedpalliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment.

Although the criteria to be enrolled in hospice and palliative care differs, 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 Common Goals of Both Hospice and Palliative Care

  1. Provide relief from pain and symptoms.
  2. Integrate medical, psychological, psycho-social and spiritual care.
  3. Offer support to help patients live as actively as possible until death.
  4. Offer support to help the family cope during the patient’s illness, and through bereavement.
  5. Advocate for patient/family participation in the plan of care.

Difference between our Palliative Care and Hospice Care Services


Criteria & Service


Palliative Care
Buffalo  

Hospice
Buffalo

Receiving curative treatment for
serious, progressive or chronic illness
with active symptoms

X  

Terminally ill with Prognosis
of 6 months or less

  X
Physician Oversight X X
Nurse Visits X X
24/7 On-Call Nurse Support  X X
Social Work Visits & Access
to Community Resources 
X X
Home Health Aide   X
Expressive Therapies X-Essential Care 
for children only 
X
Spiritual Care X (upon request) X

Volunteer Support

X X
Medications*   X
Supplies   X
Medical Equipment   X
Where We Provide Care     
In Private Homes  X X

In Assisted Living &
Developmentally Disabled Homes

X X
In Nursing Homes   X
In Hospitals   X
Wilson Inpatient Unit**   X

Respite Care (5 Days)

  X

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            *Related to primary diagnosis

**For patients whose symptoms cannot be managed at home  

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Resources

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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