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Hospice Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between hospice and palliative care?

Although hospice and palliative care are similar in their comfort-orientation, there are distinct differences between the two types of care.

Palliative care can be provided at any point in the course of an illness where aggressive pain management and symptom control is needed.

Hospice is a system of care for those patients who have a limited life expectancy and have elected to receive comfort-oriented (non-curative) care.

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Do the Palliative Care Consult Service and the Summa Health Hospice Team work with my doctor?

Yes, both teams will work very closely with your personal physician.

I’ve heard that palliative care teams try to convince patients to stop treatment. Is this true?
No. The vast majority of patients benefit from palliative care during any course of their treatment. In fact, studies show palliative care helps cancer patients complete their treatment while improving their quality of life.

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Isn’t palliative care only for actively dying patients?

Palliative care is for any patient who needs aggressive treatment of pain and other uncomfortable symptoms at any stage of a complex illness.

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Where is the hospice located?

Hospice is a philosophy of care rather than a “place”. In fact, the majority of care provided by the Summa Health Hospice team (more than 90%) is provided in the comfort of the patient’s home or assisted living facility.

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Doesn’t receiving hospice care mean that you have “given up hope"?

No. “Getting well” is not always the same as “getting better”. Hope for many patients equates to an expectation of a greater quality of life. Many hospice patients feel more in control and more comfortable as a result of their care.

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