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Palliative care: relief of pain; the treatment and relief of mental and physical pain without curing the causes, especially in patients suffering from a terminal illness.
The goal of palliative care is to relieve suffering, symptoms, and provide the best possible quality of life for people facing the pain, symptoms and stresses of serious illness. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of an illness, and it can be provided along with treatments that are meant to cure. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care is not hospice care, and is not always pre hospice care, but the identification by medical health care providers that there are differing needs for someone who suffers from chronic pain no matter what the cause.
Palliative care treats people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses including cancer, cardiac disease such as Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), kidney failure, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Palliative care helps you gain the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves your ability to tolerate medical treatments. And it helps you have more control over your care by better understanding your choices for treatment options.
Neighborhood Health's Palliative care team is a partnership of patient, hospice and home care staff and family. Our team of experts, including nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists, and social workers, provides this care in your home together with your own doctor.
The palliative care team spends as much time as necessary with you and your family. The team supports you and your family every step of the way, not only by controlling your symptoms, but also by helping you to understand your treatment options and goals. The palliative care team works with your doctor to provide an extra layer of support, maintains close communication with all care providers and expert symptom management. The team will help you to navigate the healthcare system and support the emotional and spiritual needs of you and your family.
Palliative care in the home is not reimbursable as a separate form of treatment by Medicare or commercial insurance. The agency is paid the normal home care rate for the care provided. The additional resources and care provided are covered by donations and grants.
Should you decide at any time that you no longer wish to receive palliative care, your care can be transferred to either our home care or our hospice teams. You will still have the same nurses and therapists caring for your needs. It makes for an easy transition of care without having to meet all new caregivers.
Last Updated: 12/22/2011