How do I know if palliative care is right for my child?
Palliative care may be right for your child if they have a serious or life-threatening illness. Serious illnesses include but are not limited to: cardiovascular, genetic, neuromuscular, metabolic and many more. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness. You can also have this type of care at the same time as treatment meant to cure you.
What does the palliative care team do?
Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. It is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. The goal is to improve quality of life.
To do this, the palliative care team will:
- Relieve symptoms and distress (emotional, spiritual, physical, etc.)
- Help you better understand a child’s disease and diagnosis
- Help clarify your treatment goals and options
- Understand and support your ability to cope with illness
- Assist you with making medical decisions
- Coordinate with your other doctors
Is Palliative Care the same as Hospice?
Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort, but they have different time frames for use. Palliative care can begin at diagnosis and continues through treatment, no matter how your disease responds to treatment. Hospice is a specific type of care and set of services that is offered only when the person is expected to live 6 months or less.
Who else, besides my child, can benefit?
Everyone involved! Patients as well as family caregivers are the special focus of palliative care. Your doctors and nurses benefit too, because they know they are meeting your needs by providing care and treatment that reduces your suffering and improves your quality of life.
How can the palliative care team help me?
The palliative care team will also spend time talking and listening to you and your family. They will make sure you completely understand all your treatment options and choices. By deeply exploring your goals of care, the palliative care team will help you match those goals to the options. Our goal is to help relieve suffering and help find a better quality of life for your child, family, and even the practitioners caring for them. A palliative care team may help patients and families explore their beliefs and values so they can move toward acceptance and peace.
Who provides palliative care?
A team of credentialed clinicians, including palliative care doctors, a social worker, nurse practitioners, nurses and a chaplain to provide this type of specialized care.
How do I get palliative care?
Ask for it! Rainbow Kids is a “Physician Consult” service. That means your doctor has to write an order for us to get involved. You can ask your doctor directly or ask your nurse to help coordinate.