What is Palliative Care?

HomeCare Matters provides Palliative Care to patients suffering from serious illnesses including cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis. Palliative Care is designed to help ease pain and control symptoms. It is NOT Hospice. Patients who receive Palliative Care can still receive curative treatment for their underlying disease. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of serious illness and is not dependent on prognosis.

 

What can I expect?

Palliative care’s comfortable and supportive atmosphere will help you gain control over your treatment and reduce anxiety and stress. By communicating your needs and wishes to a care team headed by your primary care physician, a coordinated effort between specially trained nurses, pharmacists, social workers, chaplains and other health professionals will ensure that remedies are in line with your goals. Symptoms can be relieved as you care on with your daily life. Your ability to go through medical treatments will also improve as you gain a better understanding of your condition and choices for medical care.

 

The difference between Palliative Care and Hospice:

 Palliative Care:Hospice:

Who can receive care?

Anyone with a serious illness, regardless of life expectancy. Someone with a life expectancy measured in months.

What are care goals?

To control pain and ease symptoms while reducing anxiety and stress. Goals are aimed to aid physician’s treatment plan. To deliver effective pain management, support and care that can dramatically improve quality of life for both the patient and their family.

Can I still receive curative treatments?

Yes. Palliative Care and curative treatments can both be received at the same time. No. Hospice patients have exhausted all curative treatments or found that treatments would do more harm than good.

Who pays for care?

Most treatments and medications are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, Insurance or Private Pay. Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans have a Hospice benefit.

How long can I receive care?

As long as your serious illness continues and coverage remains in place. As long as your illness has reduced your life expectancy to a matter of months.

Who provides care?

A team of nurses, social workers, pharmacists, chaplains and health professionals lead by your primary care physician.

Specially trained doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides and other health care professionals.

 

Can I receive Palliative Care at home?

Although Palliative Care is usually given in hospitals, sometimes it can take place at nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Palliative Care can also be performed as outpatient treatment at home. After discharge from a hospital or physician’s visit, you, your doctor and the palliative care team can discuss the possibility of obtaining Palliative outpatient care. Being in the comfort of your own home can help reduce tension and aid in your healing process.

 

Who pays for Palliative Care?

Most insurance plans, Medicare and Medicaid should cover all or part of your Palliative care treatment. Self-pay is also an option. If cost is a concern to you, once of the palliative care team social workers can help find a payment solution. Our aim is to make the process as stress free for you and your family as possible. HomeCare Matters will not turn anyone away due to an inability to pay.

 

How does Palliative Care treat the patient?

Palliative Care provides holistic care, focusing on the entire person – not just the disease or illness. Team members can address any social, psychological, emotional, physical or spiritual need that you may have so suffering can be reduced and quality of life improved. Patient families will also benefit from the Palliative Care Team as they are given the same support that is being delivered to you. By helping to ease stress, attention will be concentrated on where it will do the most good – keeping you healthy, comfortable and in charge of your medical plan and choices.

 

How can I receive Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is available by talking with your doctor, nurse or health care professional.