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What is Hospice & Palliative Care, and When is it Right for Your Loved One?

December 14, 2022 by  
Filed under Conversation

By Karen Rubel | President & CEO, Nathan Adelson Hospice

November Marks National Hospice & Palliative Care Month

Karen Rubel

As the largest and only non-profit hospice in Southern Nevada, we are often asked questions about what hospice and palliative care is and how it can help someone during their end-of-life journey.

It’s important to understand that hospice is not a place, but rather a philosophy that focuses on the well-being of the whole person. It is a journey of care for a patient. When a prognosis of a life-limiting illness is six months or less, it is time to consider hospice and explore care options. Palliative care, on the other hand, offers a model of care to individuals much earlier in their course of a serious illness.

Thanks to modern medicine, several terrible diseases have become preventable, treatable, or far less common. Breakthrough drugs and technologies have given healthcare providers new tools to combat serious conditions and prolong a patient’s life expectancy. Yet fighting these illnesses can produce painful symptoms both from the disease and from its treatment. The struggle to cope with these symptoms can be so consuming that it effectively keeps patients from focusing on anything else in their lives. When this situation arises, the priority is to find relief so that the person has a better quality of life. Palliative care, sometimes called comfort care or supportive care, uses sophisticated methods to minimize pain and adverse symptoms.

Both hospice and palliative care programs focus on pain management and control of symptoms. They also offer spiritual care and psychosocial support to the patient and their loved ones.

When & How to Choose Hospice and Palliative Care

If you are looking into hospice, it means you are coming to terms with the end-of-life journey for you or someone for whom you care about. Understandably, people find this stressful and struggle with new, unfamiliar responsibilities. As overwhelming as it may seem, turning to hospice will be a wise choice, and the healthcare professionals can guide you through the process.

As your trusted partner on the journey of care, Nathan Adelson Hospice is a good example to follow. We bring compassion and hands-on support in the difficult days ahead. One of our programs, The Elaine Wynn Palliative Care Program, focuses on relieving and preventing pain, symptoms, and stress. Our Palliative Care Team can be your family’s companion, helping you understand treatment options and goals.

It is important for individuals to research quality organizations when it’s time to look into hospice and palliative care. Nathan Adelson Hospice has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in the country 10 times in the last decade, and most recently earned a Top Workplace recognition by Energage for our employee appreciation, professional development, purpose & values, and being a women-led organization. We value our colleagues, and that allows them to provide the highest standard of care to our community.

Hospice of Choice

As one of the first hospices founded in the United States, we are recognized as a national leader in hospice and palliative care and have helped more than 80,000 patients since we opened our doors over 40 years ago. It is our privilege to be part of our Southern Nevada’s rich history and to continue to care for all who need it.

Our clinical staff offers support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our interdisciplinary teams provide care wherever someone calls home — private residences, hospitals, assisted living centers, group homes, and nursing homes.

Nathan Adelson Hospice

As a nonprofit hospice organization, we raise funds to provide care to uninsured and underinsured members of our community and support needed programs and services such as meal delivery, complementary therapies, transportation, and for families in need. Nathan Adelson Hospice partners with patients and families to bring relief, comfort, and dignity. Our vision is that no one end the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain. For answers to your questions, additional information, or to discuss hospice and palliative care, call Nathan Adelson Hospice at (702) 733-0320 or visit

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