Keeping patients calm and comfortable during treatment of a serious illness—that’s the goal of palliative care. “Often patients are fearful when they hear the term palliative care because it’s often associated with hospice. We are trying to dispel some of that fear because quality at any stage of an illness is important,” said Dr. Jonathan Von Koenig, a palliative care physician with Lee Health.
Palliative care is a specialty that helps patients diagnosed with a serious illness better cope with their treatment, whereas hospice care is a form of palliative care for patients facing the end of life. “Hospice is a different focus of care that usually does not follow along with trying to fix the underlying problem and is good for people at the end of their life,” explained Dr. Von Koenig.