Palliative Care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.
Palliative care specialists treat people suffering from many serious disease types and chronic illnesses, including cancer, cardiac disease such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more.
Palliative care focuses on the symptoms of the disease and the treatment, to helps you with a wide range of issues, including pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, shortness of breath, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. It also helps you gain the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves your ability to tolerate medical treatments. And it helps you have more control over your care by improving your understanding of your choices for treatment.
Palliative care is provided in a variety of settings including in the comfort of home. In addition, most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative care. Where costs are a concern, a social worker from the palliative care team can help you.
Wisners Family: My doctor has suggested Hospice care. Will my health insurance benefits pay and will I have some out of pocket costs?
Dorothy RN: Most health care insurances have a hospice benefit that will cover all services related to the terminal diagnosis. That includes all visits needed like Nurses, personal care aides, social worker, chaplain, physical therapy and physician home visits to care for the terminal diagnosis to manage the symptoms . All supplies, medications and equipment needed to manage the terminal diagnosis are also covered without out of pocket costs. .Occasionally, the family might opt for extra services like sitter services, companionship or housekeeping which could be out of pocket costs. However, each hospice case is unique in terms is what is required to meet the patients needs. Hospice clients and their families should take time to discuss and understand what is covered.
Comfort care assures that negative symptoms like pain, nausea, shortness of breath and itching are kept to a minimum for the patient allowing a much easier transition. Hospice nurses will visit the hospice patients 2 to 3 times per week, and sometimes as often as daily or 2times per day to intervene as necessary to manage the negative symptoms. Our nurses are available 24 hours a day, call us for any hospice needs.
Our Pediatric Program is rehabilitation focused with Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist being part of the inter disciplinary team. Our nurses are dedicated working tirelessly for the desired outcomes.
But when Hospice is called for, our Pediatric clients and their loving families can count on our Skilled Hospice Nurses for disease management, comfort measures and peace of mind. Our Hospice team is available 24 hours a day 7 days per week for home visits or just to answer questions. The hospice volunteers offer respite care for the families. Call 3166915050 and ask Dorothy for questions about pediatric’s hospice.
Hospice care is set up to be a multi discipline approach in order to address the many challenges posed by an end of life situation. The nurses take care of the physical aspect of care, The chaplain deals with the spiritual aspect, the social worker works with grief management, the pharmacist reviews and medications and consult the team, the personal care aide bath and groom the patient, the volunteers can provide family with support by sitting with the patient while the family goes out shopping, they can spend time with patient reading them a book or playing music, or playing cards, knitting or taking the patients for a walk. Volunteers can visit once per week for up to 2 hours. A good volunteer is an integral part of the hospice team and can bring peace of mind to the patient and family
Oliver Family: Our sister was on Hospice with Myasthenia Gravis for 8 months last year and was finally discharged because her condition was stable. Now her condition has worsened. Can she be readmitted to hospice?
Dorothy RN: Occasionally patients do get better under hospice care or their medical condition stabilizes forcing the hospice to dismiss from hospice care. But ones the patient’s condition worsens again, the need for Hospice care can be evaluated and if the patient meets the criteria, hospice care can be re established. The attending physicians understand the challenges posed by some of those chronic diseases and will not have a problem re ordering Hospice care.