When a patient has an advanced or chronic illness they may have symptoms or pain that their current treatment is not addressing. The focus of palliative care is to complement the patient’s current treatment in order to alleviate these symptoms and pain to enhance their quality of life. Not only does palliative care provide symptom management for those with a complex illness, but it also provides emotional and psycho-social support for their families and caregivers.
Palliative care is comprehensive care for patients of all ages, including children, who are living with chronic conditions. Palliative care is personalized and provided wherever the patient is, whether that is a private residence, facility or hospital.
Beyond providing comfort care and addressing the emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families, our palliative care team can help families plan for the future to relieve stress and uncertainty. Care can encompass discussions about future care wishes and desires, including discussing advance directives.
What Would Palliative Care Look Like For Me?
Your palliative care team would work with you and your and family to determine what type of care and treatment would best improve your quality of life. Your clinical status and specific needs determine your palliative care needs. Patients may transition through different levels of care depending on their medical needs and where they are on their journey.
Who is Eligible for Palliative Care?
To be eligible for palliative care under Medicare guidelines, a patient could have a life expectancy that is greater than 6 months. If life expectancy is less than six months, then hospice care should be considered. A patient may be receiving curative treatment or therapies while they receive palliative care, and desire palliative care to address pain or unmanaged symptoms.
Often a patient’s primary care physician will recommend palliative care for them, and one of our physicians will review to confirm if palliative care is appropriate. If you’re wondering if palliative care is right for someone you care for, you can always ask their doctor or get in touch with us.