Is Palliative Care The Same As Hospice?

Dr. Mohana Karlekar answers: 'What is Palliative Care for Alzheimer's?'

ByABC News
November 19, 2008, 12:19 PM

May 4, 2009 -- Question: Is palliative care the same as Hospice?

Answer: Palliative care is a much broader entity, and hospice is one part of palliative care.

Palliative care involves taking care of patients who are dealing with a life-threatening illness or injury, but it can be anywhere across their disease trajectory. So a patient can be diagnosed with a cancer, getting chemotherapy, just diagnosed with a new disease. They can be at the end of their lives. It's anywhere across that illness.

Hospice differs in that it's only for patients who have a life expectancy of less than six months.

So, palliative care is much broader; hospice is a smaller subset of that, right at the end of life.