Palliative care is care of patients when cure is no longer possible, the aim being to control symptoms and prolong life (by means of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or hormone therapy). Palliative care is the aim at the outset of treatment for about 50% of cancer patients (since only about 50% at diagnosis have disease that is limited enough to realistically attempt cure).

Hospice care no longer hopes to prolong life, but emphasizes symptom control and quality of remaining life. It is characterized by a team approach, symptom control, rehabilitation of the whole person, good communication, psychological support, family counseling, awareness of spiritual needs, expert care of the dying person and bereavement follow-up.

These two areas of care overlap. Patients receiving palliative treatment benefit from a team approach to improve their quality of life. Patients receiving hospice care occasionally need to be referred for palliative treatments.

“A hospice is a team or community concerned with enhancing the quality of remaining life for a patient and family struggling with mortal illness.”
(Cicely Saunders)

“Here they treat me like a human being all the time, not just when they feel like it.”
(Jane Zorza, in
A Way to Die by Rosemary and Victor Zorza)

The author and publisher have taken precautions to ensure that the information in this book is error-free. However, readers must be guided by their own personal and professional standards of good practice in evaluating and applying recommendations made herein. The contents of this book represent the views and experience of the author, and not necessarily those of the publisher.

3 Unity Square • P.O. Box 98 • Machiasport, Maine 04655-0098 • U.S.A.
Hospicelink 800.331.1620 • Telephone 207.255.8800
Telefax 207.255.8008 • hospiceall@aol.com.