If you have been diagnosed with a serious illness, palliative care may be an option and can help provide relief from but is not limited to cancer, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cardiovascular diseases, lung disease, and many more serious conditions.
Through the discretion of a physician, a patient of any age or stage of illness, terminal or not, may begin treatment, if applicable it can take place at the same time as curative treatment.
What does the palliative care team do?
A palliative care team will focus on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. It is provided by a specialized team of doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who work together with your primary doctors to offer support and guidance to improve your quality of life. Your team of care specialists will provide:
- Pain management
- Help to cope and manage stress
- Provide support and education on your diagnosis
- Help to establish care goals and treatment options
- Assist you with making medical decision
- Coordinate with your primary health care professionals
What can I expect from palliative care?
Palliative care provides support for you and your caregivers. The goal is to provide an improved quality of life and support. You can expect relief from symptoms experienced from your illness, such as chronic pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping.
Your team of care specialists will help guide you to better understand your diagnosis, treatment options, goals, making medical decisions, and support your ability to cope. Your team will stay in close communication to help you have more control over your care and decisions.
Palliative care will help with life’s daily tasks, adding support for reaching your goals of treatment and alleviating symptoms from your condition.
Do I have to give up my primary doctor?
Not at all, palliative care does not replace the current treatment of your illness but works to add extra support throughout your condition in partnership with your primary care team.
Where do I get palliative care?
Typically, palliative care will occur in a hospice setting. However, it can occur in various locations such as outpatient care or outside the hospital in the place you call home. Working together, you, your primary care team, and the specialist care team will discuss options for care to determine the best solution for your situation.
If you and your family believe palliative care may be an option, consult your doctor about your goals of care and what treatment options are available for your condition.
If you have more questions about palliative care or just need to talk, call 800-417-7535 today. Our patient and compassionate team of medical professionals are standing by to help with your concerns.