Hospice vs Palliative Care, What’s The Difference Between The 2?

hospice vs palliative care

Hospice vs Palliative Care

When confronted with choosing hospice vs palliative care patients and families often struggle initially understanding the difference between the two.


Families have help when deciding between Hospice vs Palliative care.

Abby Services is a family-owned and operated caregiver referral service. We can help families find the support they need when confronted with the extremely challenging personal situations that come with choosing between hospice vs palliative care.

In addition to excellent caregivers who can provide additional personal support Scott Strachan RN, a former Hospice Nurse is available to help answer some of the dificult questions families may have. 

So what is the difference between Hospice vs palliative care?

To answer the question of the differences between hospice vs palliative care we must learn what they are:

Hospice provides end-of-life care with the goal of maintaining comfort and dignity. Hospice as a service is funded largely through Medicare, Medicaid, and Veterans Services. Most patients receiving hospice care have no out-of-pocket expenses.

Hospice care focuses on managing a terminally ill patient’s pain and symptoms. Hospice care prioritizes comfort and quality of life by reducing pain and suffering for terminally ill patients.

Hospice among other things requires that patients: 

  • Have a physician who makes a clinical determination that life expectancy is six months or less if the terminal illness runs its normal course.


  • Hospice may treat disease symptoms to maintain comfort but is not intended for patients seeking curative treatment.


Those seeking Hospice care in Fort Myers and Cape Coral and Lee County have one main choice, Hope Hospice. Avow Hospice is another provider serving residents of Collier County.

Caregivers through Abby Services can work with the hospice teams of both services to help you receive the level of care and support you need.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with a serious illness, such as cancer or heart failure.

Patients in palliative care may receive medical care for their symptoms, or palliative care, along with treatment intended to cure their illness or disease.

The Major difference in Hospice vs Palliative care is the end goal.

Yes, the major difference in Hospice vs palliative care is the goal. Hospice patients may have a disease process where they are not working toward a cure. 

It is important to remember that hospice patients and their families may always reevaluate and change their treatment goals should their situation or choices change.

Palliative care like hospice treats symptoms of serious illnesses however patients under palliative care are still being treated for, and working toward a cure for whatever disease process they are facing.

Is additional support available for families receiving Hopice or Palliative care? YES!

Abby Services In-Home Caregivers for Seniors of Fort Myers and Cape Coral work together with many healthcare providers to ensure our patients and their families receive the care and support they want where and when they need it. This includes all patients, even those receiving hospice and palliative care treatment.

The professional and private caregivers we work with complement services patients are currently receiving from Medicare Providers, PT/OT, services, and Hospice Providers.

Unfortunately, many families are unsure who to turn to when they need the help and support of a Home Health Service like ours.

Scott Strachan, a nurse, and one of the owners of Abby Services has had real-world clinical Hospice and Palliative care experience. Scott and Abby Services understand that sometimes it can be hard to know who to turn to for the help and information seniors need.

This is especially true when Hospice & Palliative care is involved simply because of the difficult nature of the services they provide.

That’s why we loved this infographic from Avow Hospice. It helps to explain the differences between Hospice and Palliative Care and relieves some anxiety and confusion about the two similar but very different services.

No matter what your situation is, Abby Services can help you find the best caregivers in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and our surrounding area. Just call 239-590-0861!

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