How do I get palliative care?
Ask for it! Start by talking with your doctor or nurse.
Who can be helped by palliative care?
Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment.
When can you get palliative care?
You can get palliative care as soon as you are told about your serious illness or health problem. These illnesses can include heart, lung, kidney or liver failure, cancer, and some memory or neurological problems. Palliative care can be given at the same time you are being treated to cure your illness.
Are services and support offered to your family and friends?
Yes. Your palliative care team can teach your family and friends how to care for you. They can also provide emotional support to your family and friends throughout your illness.
Is palliative care the same as hospice?
Hospice care is a type of palliative care, but palliative care is much broader than hospice. You can receive palliative care for many years, but hospice care begins in the final months of life. Both include a team of care providers to help the patient and support the family.
What can I expect from a palliative care consult?
You can expect to have more control over your care and a comfortable and supportive atmosphere that reduces anxiety and stress. You can also expect attention to symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.
Palliative care addresses the whole person. It helps you carry on with your daily life, and improves your ability to go through medical treatments. It also helps you better understand your condition and your choices for medical care.
Is palliative care covered by insurance?
Most insurance plans cover all or part of the palliative care treatment you receive, just as with other hospital and medical services. This is also true of Medicare and Medicaid. If costs concern you, a social worker or financial consultant from the palliative care team can discuss payment options with you.