Frequently Asked Questions about Palliative Care
Q? Is Palliative Care different than Hospice Care?
A. Yes. Palliative Care services are different than Hospice Care services. The goal of Palliative Care is to improve quality of life for patients and families who have chronic or life-limiting illnesses.
While hospice patients must be diagnosed with a terminal illness with a time limited prognosis and generally forgo life-prolonging treatments, palliative care patients do not face such time limitations and can qualify for care if they have chronic, acute, life-limiting or terminal illness.
Palliative Care focuses on maintaining and improving quality of life through pain/symptom management and, psycho-social/spiritual support and determination of goals of care and realistic expectations.
Q? Is Palliative Care right for me?
A. If you have a serious illness, palliative care may be appropriate for you. Serious illnesses may include cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, ALS and other illnesses.
If you have a disease or injury that cannot be cured; have made multiple trips to the emergency room in the past 6 months; pain or other symptoms that interfere with your daily activities or need assistance with determining your goals of care and treatment preferences, palliative care may be the appropriate option for you and your family.
Remember, palliative care is appropriate at any stage of the illness. You can also have this type of care at the same time as pursuing treatment intended to cure you.
Q? Where do I go to receive Palliative Care services?
A. Your primary physician can suggest palliative care or you can contact us directly for information.
Q? Do I have to give up my doctor?
A. No. Palliative care provides an extra layer of support and works in cooperation with your primary doctor.
Q? Can I still receive treatment for my illness/disease if I am also receiving palliative care?
A. Yes. Your treatment choices are up to you. Palliative care is available at any stage of your treatment and disease process. Palliative care is most beneficial when started early in your disease process.
Q? Who else can benefit?
A. Everyone involved in the patient’s care.
Patients as well as family caregivers are the focus of palliative care. Primary doctors benefit too, because they know they are meeting the patient’s needs by offering care and treatment that reduces the patient’s suffering and improves quality of life.
Q? Does insurance cover Palliative Care services?
A. Some insurance policies cover palliative care services. Check with your insurance provider to determine if you have palliative care coverage.
Q? How do I get palliative care?
A. Simply ask your doctor or nurse about it. You can also call us directly for information. We stand ready to help.