Palliative Care and Hospice

Palliative Care
Palliative care is medical treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of disease symptoms, rather than striving to halt, delay or reverse progression of the disease itself or provide a cure. Palliative care is not dependent on prognosis and is offered in conjunction with curative and all other appropriate forms of medical treatment.

When patients and families decide they no longer want aggressive medical intervention, palliative care can be provided by Burgess Square’s highly skilled and compassionate team who will work with the patient’s doctor to focus on symptom management. As always, the goal is to provide the highest quality of life possible. For more information, please contact the admissions team at 630-971-7002.

Download our Palliative Care brochure for more information.


Hospice is a philosophy of care. This philosophy accepts death as the final stage of life. The goal of hospice is to manage pain and other symptoms so patients can continue an alert, pain-free life and spend their last days with dignity and comfort, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice affirms life; it neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice care treats the person rather than the disease. It focuses on quality of life rather than length. It provides family-centered care that involves the patient and the family in all decisions.

Burgess Square has developed relationships with several local hospice organizations who work with our staff. When families make these difficult decisions, they can be assured that hospice will be there to work in conjunction with the Burgess Square team.

Burgess Square and hospice staff combine expert pain and symptom management with compassionate care to help patients live each day to the fullest. If you have any questions regarding hospice services, please feel free to talk to a member of our staff and who will provide a social worker to consult with you and your family.

Palliative Care/Hospice Comparison

Definition: Treats suffering from serious and chronic illnesses including cancer, cardiac/pulmonary diseases, kidney/liver failure, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease. Palliative care allows patients to have better control over medical care and understanding of choices for treatment options. Definition: Type of palliative care for patients with end stage lung, heart, kidney, liver, neurological illness, cancer or advanced dementia. Hospice does not speed up or slow down the dying process, rather the focus is on treating patient pain and other symptoms so that a person’s final days may be spent with dignity and quality of life surrounded by loved ones.
Treatment: Patients who need comfort at any stage of disease, whether terminal or chronic. Patients may still be seeking aggressive treatments. Treatment: Patients who have life expectancy of six months or less.
Focus: Provide patients with relief from symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and the stress of a serious illness regardless of the diagnosis. Focus: Support terminally ill patients not seeking curative or aggressive life prolonging treatments.
Goal: To improve quality of life for both the patient and family. Helps prevent re-hospitalization due to uncontrolled symptoms. Goal: To improve pain and symptoms of dying patients and allow them to manage their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Services: The palliative care team is a group of specialists that work in partnership with the primary physician to provide:
  • Time to discuss needs, concerns and goals of care
  • Expert management of pain and other symptoms
  • Guidance with difficult and complex medical treatment options
  • Emotional support for patients and families to cope with the stress and burden of serious illness
  • Services are flexible and based on the patient needs
Services: Hospice care team of specialists work with primary physicians to provide:
  • A Registered Nurse and Patient Care Technician to care for patients and provide ongoing support and education of the dying process
  • Hospice related medications that treat pain and control symptoms
  • Durable medical equipment and supplies needed in day to day care of the patient
  • Emotional / spiritual support of social services and chaplain to patients and their families
  • Bereavement counseling
Payment: Most insurance plans cover all or part of the palliative treatment. Medicare and Medicaid also typically cover palliative services. Options for palliative care can be amended or patients can transition into hospice care at any time. Payment: Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Private insurance and HMOs. Patients can be discharged or can revoke from hospice at any time. Patients need to be recertified to qualify every two to three months.

Burgess Square offers both palliative and hospice services that focus on quality of life for our patients. Goals of both types of care are to assist with the medical management of patient to relieve pain and other symptoms of illness, as well as coordinate goals of care or end of life issues.

By Aniltta Alex, Nurse Practitioner and Michelle Buikema, Nurse Practitioner,
Burgess Square, March 2013

Download Palliative/Hospice Care Comparison Sheet.

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