Palliative care can begin at diagnosis, whereas hospice care starts when treatment of the disease is stopped and the patient has six months or less to live. Palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for people with serious illnesses. Patients who chose to do palliative care can still receive treatment for their disease.
Patients in hospice care no longer receive treatment. While hospice care is focused on the patient’s last six months of life, palliative care can last as long as the treatment the patient receives. Palliative care is all about providing comfort to patients of all ages that have serious, chronic, and life-threatening illnesses. Like hospice, palliative care treats or prevents the symptoms and side effects of a patient’s treatment and disease, and cares for any emotional, social, and spiritual problems that can arise during an illness.