Palliative care is a type of medical care focusing on helping seriously ill patients and their families manage symptoms, pain and stress. The goal of the program is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Getting Palliative Care Services
Ask for it! Start by talking with your doctor or nurse. Tell your family, friends and caregivers that you want palliative care. Then ask your doctor for a referral. Palliative Care Services within UR Medicine Home Care are offered when your doctor makes a referral to the agency’s Palliative Care Program. Palliative care can be offered in a number of places including home, hospitals, and hospice. The care
team will work collaboratively to meet your goals by:
Home Care Services Area
- Managing pain and other debilitating symptoms
- Allowing patients to have more control over their care
- Coordinating care with the health care providers involved with the treatment plan
- Working with the patient’s care team to augment and support their work
- Assisting family members cope with changes in the patient’s disease process by easing stress
- Educating patients and families about the choices they may face and anticipate future needs
Those Who Can Benefit from Palliative Care
Palliative care is appropriate for anyone suffering a serious, chronic or life-limiting illness (e.g., cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer′s, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and more). UR Medicine Home Care offers Patient and Family Centered Care in all of its programs. A multidisciplinary team approach is provided for every patient and family in all of its programs.
How the Palliative Care Team Helps
Our Palliative Care Team acts as a support system to help patients live as actively as possible. We offer support to help families cope, and the program is applicable early in the course of an illness. Palliative care can be offered in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The team works collaboratively to:
- Relieve unacceptable levels of pain and symptoms that may be interfering with daily life
- Decrease and/or eliminate frequent visits to the hospital/emergency department
- Share relaxation techniques and provide strategies to reduced stress
- Provide support for the family
- Present information about the illness and options for care
Knowing if You Need Palliative Care
Some indicators that you may need palliative care include:
- Unacceptable levels of pain longer than 24 hours
- Prolonged stay in ICU/complex case
- Uncontrolled psycho-social, family, or spiritual issues
- Frequent visits to the hospital/emergency department (once per month for the same diagnosis)
- More than one hospital admission for the same diagnosis in last six months
- Prolonged length of stay without evidence of progress
Do I Have to Give Up My Own Doctor?
The answer is simply no. UR Medicine Home Care’s Palliative Care program acts as your home care provider and has access to physicians and specialized registered nurses within the agency to act as consultants and work along with your primary doctor. The hallmark of palliative care is a team approach to patient and family care. Your primary doctor will continue to direct your care and play an active part in your treatment. The Palliative Care Team provides support to and works in partnership with your primary doctor.
Obtaining a Referral
Based on your individual needs, your physician will make a home care referral. You may inform your hospital nurse or physician about your preference in using UR Medicine Home Care. Our Home Care Coordinator will arrange your post-hospital home care plan.
Referrals are accepted seven days a week by calling our Intake Department at (800) 253-4439.
The cost of services may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, HMO’s and private insurance companies and will be verified before admission.
We provide personalized, insightful and thoughtful attention to your needs to add to your comfort and speed of recovery. We can assist you in finding other available community services through our network of organizations when necessary.