What is Palliative Care?

Many of our loved ones are not able to enjoy the beauty of life because of chronic pain and discomfort.  Your loved one can be comfortable and engaged in life fully by seeking palliative care.  The term palliative care is not to be confused with hospice.  Although, both disciplines share the same goal for pain and symptom management, palliative care has a unique approach.  All patients and their families have the ability to choose palliative care at any stage of a serious illness.  In addition, patients may continue to explore curative options while receiving palliative services.

What is the disease profile for palliative care?

A patient population of any age experiencing any serious illness is appropriate for palliative care A few examples of illnesses treated by the palliative care option include, but limited to:   Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Chronic Pulmonary Diseases, Congestive Heart Failure and Parkinson’s Disease.


Who is the palliative care team?

The palliative care team is an interdisciplinary team that includes physicians, nurses, and social workers.  The palliative team addresses the emotional, spiritual, and physical nature of a chronic disease.  In addition, the team may also have complementary services such as pharmacists and massage therapists.


Paying for palliative care

Medicare, Medicaid and many private insurance plans cover palliative services.  Palliative care services are provided in hospitals, clinics or in a patient’s home.


Who to contact?

When pain and other debilitating symptoms are relieved, your loved one can once again participate in meaningful activities and spend quality time with loved ones. If palliative care is an option, consult with the primary care physician for a referral.


About the author

I am passionate about sharing senior citizen news and resources discovered from both my profession and personal journey.

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