What Is Palliative Care?
If you or a loved one is living with a serious illness, you should consider adding palliative care to your treatment. Coping with serious illness becomes harder over time and the quality of life often starts to suffer. Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of life, while also offering support to family members and other loved ones. Palliative medicine consultations from physicians or nurse practitioners are available in multiple settings such as hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, and your private residence.
When Is Palliative Care Appropriate?
Palliative medicine may be appropriate when:
- Your quality of life has been suffering due to your illness
- Your condition has worsened despite the best care by your doctors
- You need more help from family and friends because of your worsening condition
- You have had multiple and frequent trips to the physician’s office or hospital to address your serious illness and symptoms
- The information provided by your doctors is sometimes confusing
- You need help understanding what to expect in the future and what choices are available to you
Palliative care can be helpful to patients who have illnesses such as:
- Advanced cancer
- Chronic cardiac, kidney, or life-limiting liver disease
- Advanced dementia
- Congestive heart failure
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Catastrophic illness or injury
Where Is Palliative Care Provided?
Palliative care can be provided in:
- Your home
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Assisted living facilities
- Board and care facilities
- Independent living communities
- Memory care units
How Is Palliative Care Paid for?
Palliative care is covered by Medicare Part B and most commercial insurance plans.
What Are the Benefits of Palliative Care?
There are many benefits to palliative care, which include:
- Individualized support focused on improving the quality of life
- The opportunity for patients and families to talk about their illnesses and what is most important to them
- The management of difficult symptoms, which often helps patients feel better
- Hospitalizations and unexpected visits to the doctor may decrease
- Helping patients and families understand the progression of illnesses, which enable them to make informed decisions about treatment options based on their goals
Advance care planning assistance is provided when needed
Who Provides Palliative Care?
Palliative care consultants are trained physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses who partner with your physician to provide expert and focused care. Our palliative care team ensures that patients with serious and life-limiting illnesses have quality, coordinated care, and their loved ones and caregivers have the practical and emotional support they need.
Palliative care consultants will address symptoms related to a patient’s serious illness. Symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Delirium, anxiety, and agitation
- Breathing difficulty and chronic cough
- Multiple disease-related hospitalizations over the past few months
We believe that one’s quality of life should not be compromised by illnesses.
For more information about our services, please feel free to reach out to us.