Caring for a loved one when they're ill can be a stressful and emotional experience for the whole family, and it's hard sometimes to know what else is available for comfort and support. Too often, families who could have benefited much sooner from hospice care just didn't know it was an option.
Hospice begins at the point when someone has a disease or illness and no longer responds to treatment, or the opportunity for a cure no longer exists. The goal transitions to improving comfort and quality of life – and to providing dignity in death. Sometimes hospice care can get confused with palliative care. The difference is that palliative services occur when a patient is still in active treatment and is a means to help patients understand their condition, manage pain and make important decisions about their illness.