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Palliative Care

Focused on a better quality of life

Living with a chronic, life-limiting illness can be emotionally and physically draining. Early implementation of Palliative Care can make a difference in the quality of life. Palliative Care may be used in addition to curative care of an illness. Enrollment in hospice is not a requirement for Palliative Care. Our goal is to help each person achieve the best possible quality of life.

Palliative Care - what is it?

Palliative Care is the management of symptoms of a life-limiting illness to relieve suffering and increase quality of life. In order to serve the growing number of patients with chronic debilitating diseases and life-threatening illnesses, we offer Palliative Care physician visits to provide:

  • Relief from symptoms associated with serious illness such as pain, nausea, shortness of breath, insomnia, etc.
  • Assistance with understanding difficult treatment choices
  • Collaboration with your provider/physician to provide consistent health care where you live.
  • A better understanding of your health care options

Is palliative care right for you or someone you're caring for?

Palliative care is appropriate if you (or the person you are caring for) have a debilitating disease or life-limiting serious illness such as, but not limited to:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic heart disease
  • Lou Gehrig's Disease (A.L.S.)
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer's
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Parkinson's disease
  • AIDS

Medicaid, Medicare, and most major insurance providers cover the cost of palliative care. Hospice at Home will bill co-pays to your secondary insurance, you, or your family. When a nurse, social worker, or spiritual care professional is desired, the fees are based on a sliding scale and we will discuss them with you, your caregiver, and family. You will never be turned away from palliative care for financial reasons or inability to pay.

Emotional and spiritual support

The palliative care team is here to help you or your loved one enjoy the best quality of life possible. We will help you adjust to new physical limitations, find meaning and hope during your illness, and help you and your caregivers understand and cope with family issues.

Information and communication

This can be an overwhelming time for you (or your loved one), your caregivers, and family. So your palliative team will help you understand your current medical situation and what to expect in the future. You will get guidance on what decisions you need to make now, during transitions and as you journey closer to dying. Your palliative team can also review your advance directives that allow you, as the patient, to designate whom you would like to make healthcare decisions for you if you are no longer able to speak or write for yourself. We can also have discussions about what the best setting is for your care based on your needs and the needs of your family or caregiver.

Enhancements to your environment

The environment where you (or the person you are caring for) are living contributes to physical and emotional comfort. Your palliative team can suggest ways to make that environment better. For example, we may suggest rearranging the furniture so it's easier to get around, or changing the lighting in the room. We also can help your family and friends with adjustments if you (or your loved one) move to a new care setting.

Connections to family and loved ones

When planning care, it is important to consider your needs as the patient as well as the needs of your caregiver and family. Your palliative care team can help find the resources needed to assist in caring for you or your loved one. We can also help you stay at home or renew connections with family and friends to make this time as meaningful as possible.

How to arrange a Palliative Care consultation

Our staff will be glad to talk with you, family members and caregivers, or to your health care providers about Palliative Care.To make a referral or for more information simply contact us or call (269) 429-7100 or (800) 457-1603. We will arrange a consultation at your home or nursing care facility as soon as possible at a time that works for your caregiver or family members who wish to be present. The initial consultation lasts approximately 1.5 hours.

During the consultation visit we will:

  • Assess and address your symptoms
  • Discuss your goals
  • Assist with understanding the course of your disease or illness
  • Help with realistic expectations

If you (or the loved one you are caring for) choose to continue with Palliative Care, the next step is to request a referral from your primary care physician. Once we receive the referral, our Palliative Care physician will work closely with your primary care physician, your family, and you (or your loved one) to alleviate pain and provide support for daily living. Follow-up visits after the initial consultation last about 30 to 45 minutes.

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