Hospice Care vs. Palliative Care: Making Informed Choices for the Future

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

Jia Hui

Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can.

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Both hospice and palliative care are widely misunderstood and even used incorrectly. They both aim to comfort and relieve medical treatment, yet they vary in several crucial respects. Also, there is indeed a need to be well informed about what each service offers to receive the best treatment possible for your circumstances.

Hospice Care vs Palliative Care

What is Hospice Care?

Patients in hospice care are often individuals who have been informed by their physicians that their condition is not anticipated to improve. Palliative care is one aspect of alleviating suffering and assisting families in getting ready for the end of life, but it is only one aspect.

Since hospice patients often have fewer than six months to live due to their life-limiting illness, they frequently receive care at home from relatives and trained caregivers. In addition to being available in Singapore senior group homes and community hospitals where patients have access to other healthcare professionals, hospice care can also be obtained from a dedicated facility. In addition to physicians and nurses, this type of care may involve close relatives, counsellors, or medical social workers who may help with the grieving process and the emotions that are frequently associated with it.

What is Palliative Care?

If you have a terminal illness that is severe but not yet life-threatening, palliative care therapies primarily work to reduce discomfort and assist with other issues. It enables individuals to cope with the negative effects of medical treatments as well as the symptoms of chronic conditions including cancer, renal illness, AIDS, and others.

Palliative care is a supplement to other therapies that can help patients and families manage symptoms including feeling sick, pain in the nerves, and shortness of breath. Palliative care patients can benefit from receiving this kind of care even when a condition is anticipated to be terminal.

How Is Hospice and Palliative Care Similar?

In a discussion on palliative care vs hospice, both are centred on the patient’s requirements and overall quality of life. While managing therapy and other requirements, palliative care treatments put a strong emphasis on preserving the maximum possible quality of life. whereas hospice care is particularly concerned with the time leading up to death.

Also, both palliative care and hospice care provide medications to help with pain management. These medications can vary from over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen to more aggressive options like morphine or opioid. To make it easier to control a couple of the side effects, however, you can still discuss options with your doctor.

How Is Hospice and Palliative Care Different?

The availability of palliative care, which is provided from the time of diagnosis, is the primary distinction between it and hospice care. To put it another way, it is independent of your disease’s phase or if you are currently undergoing curative or life-extending therapy.

Contrarily, hospice care is provided in homes or settings that resemble them, including assisted living homes, community hospitals, and other institutions. Also, a team that is focused on the patient’s requirements offers hospice care. Typically, the team consists of hospice doctors, nurses, medical social workers, skilled volunteers, and other specialist therapists as required. On the other hand, palliative care teams often operate in hospitals, and the majority of palliative care is delivered by a highly trained team of medical professionals, including physicians, nurses, and other experts.

The patients can keep using the care services for so long as they meet the conditions set by the provider for longevity. The patients’ access to palliative care will depend on their health insurance and the interventions they need while receiving hospice care.


Palliative care concentrates on minimizing discomfort and suffering, lowering stress levels, and assisting patients in living as comfortably as possible. When there is little hope of recovery or the costs of therapy exceed the advantages, hospice care concentrates on the quality of life.

Patient Eligibility

If your doctor believes you have less than six months to live, you may be eligible for hospice care under MediShield Life and MediSave. Palliative care constitutes a resource for anybody dealing with a serious illness. If a doctor certifies, the advantage could be prolonged several times. Services for people with MediShield Life and MediSave or private health coverage are a particular emphasis of hospice care.

Which Patients Typically Choose Palliative Care?

Palliative care should be provided, not curative treatment; individuals with different conditions can also benefit from these traits.

  • The patient’s capacity to take care of himself is restricted.
  • After receiving curative care, the patient is no longer receiving the benefits associated with it.
  • The patient is ineligible for the right clinical study.
  • There is no proof that further therapy would work.

Discuss your healthcare priorities with your loved ones and your doctor, and see if hospice and palliative care will help you live a better quality of life.

Treatment Options

One or more of the services offered under palliative care may be pain and symptom treatment, coordinated care with your medical team, aid with creating your care plan, housing alternatives, and assistance with advanced medical directives.

In contrast, hospice care focuses on the treatment of pain and symptoms, emotional support, medicine, and, if necessary, additional specialized services including speech and physical therapy. Should the symptoms be too severe to handle in-home care, hospice care will additionally render short-term inpatient care accessible for your elderly family members.

Costing in Singapore

Over fifty per cent of Singaporeans claim that the high expense of hospice care prevents them from considering it because they believe palliative care to be expensive. Inpatient hospice care costs between $250 and $350 a day, which is half what a regular hospitalization costs and some insurance plans may even pay for palliative care provided at home. Also, family members might anticipate spending around $75 to $310 each day after subsidies and financial coverage.

Palliative care may be provided in several places, such as acute hospitals, Singapore elderly studio apartments facilities, polyclinics, nursing homes, hospice services, or even a person’s own home, contingent upon the extensive nature of the care that is needed and the desires of the patient.

Insurance Coverage

In Singapore, the patient must undergo a medical evaluation before a doctor may decide whether Inpatient Hospice Palliative Care Service or IHPCS, is the best option for them. Patients and their family caregivers can request an evaluation by going to the patient’s usual physician or a medical social worker. In addition to MediShield Life and MediSave coverage, Singaporeans admitted into IHPCS are also qualified for means-tested government subsidies to approximately 75%.

Making Decisions

It’s difficult to choose between palliative and hospice care, so it’s best to talk about the alternatives as soon as possible. Begin by asking your physicians to give you an outlook for your disease; while usually, an exceptionally skilled medical professional cannot be certain, they can typically give you an estimate. The healthcare professional may also be able to describe some advantages of either sort of care for you to help you decide.

Additionally, you can get palliative care while also getting therapies to get better or live longer. Also, you must stop receiving any medical care intended to treat your condition or extend your life to enter hospice. That said, palliative care may be the most suitable choice if you feel less than willing to stop receiving treatment.

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