Many people have never heard of palliative care, while others mistake it for hospice. Palliative and hospice, along with curative care, are available at different points. It’s important to understand the differences between these three types of care.
It is a term tossed around in our industry, to the point where patients can get confused, so we help to answer the simple question: what is palliative care? Palliative care is a relatively new medical subspecialty that helps patients who are living with a serious illness. Its recognition is growing, but people are still confused about what it is and how it differs from hospice care. Jennifer Ritzau, MD, director of palliative care and medical director at HopeHealth, shares five facts to know about palliative care.
Three decades ago, Marlene McCarthy was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44. She then spent many years in doctors’ offices and clinics, enduring multiple treatments and therapies and suffering intense chronic pain. A few years ago, Marlene’s primary care physician recommended palliative care, leading her to Dr. Jennifer Ritzau of Hope Palliative Care, part of the HopeHealth family of services.