Hospice and Palliative Care FAQs - VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


Hospice and Palliative Care FAQs

Who is eligible for hospice care?

All enrolled Veterans who meet certain clinical criteria are eligible for care. As a general guideline, appropriate patients have a limited life expectancy and have goals of care focusing on quality of life. Enrolled Veterans may be referred for hospice care by their VA providers.

Where is hospice care given?

Hospice care can be delivered at home or in nursing homes. For eligible Veterans wishing and able to receive care at home, VA Palo Alto HCS arranges this with community hospice agencies. Where inpatient care is needed, such care is usually delivered in one of our Community Living Centers (CLCs). We currently have dedicated hospice units at our Palo Alto and Menlo Park division CLCs.

Are hospice and palliative care the same thing?

Not quite, although there are similarities. Both focus on trying to improve patient and family quality of life. Hospice care is appropriate for people with limited life expectancies, where the focus of care is on quality of life. Palliative care also focuses on improving quality of life and relieving distressing symptoms. However, palliative care may be appropriate at any stage of illness. Often, it is delivered right along with care directed toward life-prolongation or cure. Palliative care may also be helpful in working with patients, families, and other clinicians to sort out options of care and to clarify patient and family goals of care. Palliative care specialists may provide consultation either for outpatients or inpatients in hopes of helping patients and families struggling with the burdens of illness.

Who do I contact if I have questions about Hospice or Palliative Care?

For more information, you may contact us at (650) 849-0176.