You’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, so you already understand that your situation is serious. You completely recognize the toll that your illness is taking on your body and your family.
You’ve heard the terms “palliative care” and “hospice” thrown around a few times, but you don’t fully understand the difference between them – and you don’t know if either is right for you. Here is some information that could help make the decisions ahead a little easier:
Palliative care is comfort care, with or without the prospect of a cure
Your doctor hasn’t told you that you’re at the end of your fight, but you’re having significant difficulty coping with the symptoms of your disease or the side effects of your treatments.
Palliative care might be right for your needs. It doesn’t replace your regular treatment but is designed to assist with things like:
- Support for your caregivers and assistance with your activities of daily living
- Referrals and transportation to specialists and medical professionals
- Pain management and help remaining active and engaged in your life
While some people in palliative care have ended their fight against their disease, that’s not a requirement. Palliative care patients often remain in their own homes, but palliative care may or may not be fully covered by your insurance.
Hospice care is comfort care, without the prospect of a cure
Your doctor has made it clear that your time is limited and there’s nothing further to be done toward a cure. This is when hospice care is usually recommended. The services are similar to palliative care, but the focus is shifted more toward pain control and things like:
- Assistance with end-of-life planning, including advance health care directives
- Help with the spiritual and emotional process that can come with dying
Hospice care is sometimes done at home, but it’s very often done in a facility that is designed for maximum medical attention and comfort. Hospice is generally covered by insurance.
When you have an illness like mesothelioma, the well-being of your entire family can be affected. There may be compensation available that can help your family endure this troubled time and keep them financially secure in the future.