Usually a team of specialists, including palliative care doctors, nurses and social workers, provide this type of care. Massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists and others might also be part of the team.
Everyone involved! Patients, as well as family caregivers, are the special focus of palliative medicine. Your doctors and nurses benefit, too, because they know they are meeting your needs by providing care and treatment that improves your quality of life.
The palliative medicine providers discuss the plan of care with you to make sure your needs and wishes are being met and that treatments are in line with your goals.
You can expect:
Palliative medicine is for anyone with a serious chronic illness. You can have it at any age and any stage of an illness, and you can have it along with curative treatment. It is not dependent on prognosis. Hospice is an important benefit that provides care for terminally ill patients who have limited life expectancy. People who receive hospice are also no longer receiving curative treatment for their underlying disease.
Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover all or part of palliative medicine treatment.
The palliative medicine team provides an extra layer of support and works with your primary doctor. Your primary doctor will continue to direct your care and play an active role in your treatment.
After discharge from the hospital, you, your doctor and the palliative medicine team can discuss outpatient palliative medicine. You can be followed by outpatient palliative medicine even if you have not been in the hospital. Check with your doctor.
Pain and symptom control
Your palliative medicine team will specifically address sources of pain and discomfort. These may include problems with breathing, fatigue, depression, insomnia (trouble sleeping), anxiety or nausea.
Communication and coordination
Palliative medicine puts great importance on communication between you, your family and your doctors to ensure that your need and wishes are fully met. They can help with setting goals for your care, decision making and coordinating your care.
Palliative medicine focuses on the entire person, not just the illness. The team provides care for you to address social, psychological, emotional or spiritual needs that you may have
The palliative medicine team provides support to help ease the burden of caregivers as well.
Absolutely. Your treatment choices are up to you. You can get palliative medicine at the same time as other curative treatment.
Palliative medicine is available in many places. These include hospitals, outpatient clinics, and long-term care facilities.
Any patient with serious illness whose quality of life could be improved.
Patients who have a serious illness, such as:
Patients with serious illness who have: