We know that when you or a loved one have a serious illness, it can take a toll on not just the patient, but the whole family. Stress caused by keeping track of different medications, treatments, and the stress of the illness itself can be exhausting. This is where advanced illness management or palliative care comes into play!
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a treatment that enhances comfort and improves the quality of an individual’s life who is facing a serious illness but may not qualify for hospice care. It’s an added layer of support that adds to the patient’s curative treatment for their illness. The expected outcome of palliative care is relief from distressing symptoms, easing of pain, and enhancing the quality of life. And, did you know that you can choose to get palliative care at home?
AmeraCare provides Home Based Palliative care that allows for patients and loved ones to discuss care in the comfort of their own homes. This is a holistic approach to health care for patients with both acute and chronic illnesses including, but not limited to cancer, heart disease, lung disease and renal failure. But, on top of treatment for the patient’s illness, we also provide resources for the planning and support of the family and caregivers. This helps the patient continue treatment while alleviating stress for everyone. It makes it easier to take advantage of curative treatment while lowering the need for emergency room visits, hospitalizations, or invasive procedures.
Why Is Palliative Care Needed?
Palliative care ensures that a family member or caregiver is not exclusively responsible for the patient’s health at home. Did you know 50% of caregivers for American patients of serious illness report less than optimal care?
- 1 in 4 patients reports inadequate treatment of pain and shortness of breath.
- 1 in 3 families reports inadequate emotional support.
- 1 in 3 patients reports that they receive no education on how to treat their pain and other symptoms following a hospital stay.
- 1 in 3 patients are not provided with arrangements for follow up care after hospital discharge.
Is Palliative Care the same as Hospice?
We’re often asked, what is the benefit of palliative care over hospice, or vice versa. Although there are similarities to both, there are two main differences. Hospice is served in the last six months of life, whereas palliative care can be useful for longer periods of time. The other key difference is that palliative care continues curative treatment of the patient’s illness when hospice does not. However, both give a lot of support to both the patient and family that can make life more enjoyable.
What Is Palliative Care At Home?
Choosing to receive palliative care at home is not the same as choosing hospice at home. Hospice is available for families and loved ones to support end-of-life care and does not include curative treatment. Palliative care can be chosen not just by the patient’s diagnosis, but on a case-by-case basis depending on the patient’s (and their loved ones) needs.
Palliative care does not require the patient to be in a care facility, hospital, or nursing home. We know that the support of living in your own home can make a huge difference in your day to day life! This is why we provide at-home care for our patients.
Who is involved in Palliative Care?
All of our patients have a team of professionals on their side. Our Advanced Illness Management team includes nurses, doctors, social workers, and the patient’s primary care physician. All assist in making sure the person in need of care is able to live as full a life as possible. Our nurse practitioners are with the patients the most often, they’re specialized in advanced care planning discussions, medication reconciliation, and symptom management.
How Do I Know if Palliative Care Is Right For Me Or My Loved One
If you’re unsure about Advanced Illness Management, talk with the patient’s primary care physician. They can help you determine if it will be a good fit for your needs. Our goal is to help both the patient and their family get the support they need for a full and happy life.
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