What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is provided through in-person consultations with palliative care experts and includes telephone support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The palliative care team consists of Medical Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Social Workers, Spiritual Care providers and Volunteers as needed. Palliative services typically will include:
- Supportive visits that provide an ongoing assessment of the patient's status
- Providing education about illness progression, management and strategies for living with advanced illness
- Pain and symptom management
- Encouraging active health care decision making and providing information on advanced care planning
- Clarification of personal and family goals as well as communication/coordination with all of the patients providers
- Medication management as directed by the patient’s attending Medical Doctor
- Emotional, psychological and spiritual support as well as assistance with complex decision making
- Help identifying other community resources as needed.
Who qualifies for palliative care?
Anyone who has a serious or chronic illness such as cancer, CHF, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, CVA, COPD, liver disease, renal disease, or HIV.
Where is care provided?
Care is typically provided at the patient’s home or wherever the patient may call home.
Is there a cost?
Medicare and some private insurances can cover the cost of palliative care services. We will work with your insurance company for any costs or billing needs related to the services. As a non-profit organization, our mission is to be able to provide these services regardless of insurance.
Can I keep my Physician?
Yes, you can. You will still be able to attend appointments with your regular doctors. We will work closely with your doctors on the management of your care.
How does palliative care help choose the best treatment option?
The palliative care team will spend time talking and listening to you and your family. They will make sure you completely understand all of your treatment options and choices. By exploring your personal goals, the palliative care team will help you match those goals to the options. They will also make sure that all of your doctors are coordinated and know and understand what you want. This gives you more control over your care.
Do Chemotherapy, Radiation and Dialysis treatments stop?
These treatments do not have to stop to receive Palliative care. Home health services or physical therapy can also paired with Palliative care.
When should palliative care begin?
Palliative care can start at any age and any stage of an illness, but the earlier in your illness, the better.
Recent cancer guidelines say that cancer patients should receive palliative care early and together with their other treatments. People who are newly diagnosed with advanced cancer should receive a palliative care consult within 8 weeks of their diagnosis.
How do I get palliative care?
Ask for it! You have to start by talking with your doctor or nurse.