Palliative Care may be healthcare's best kept secret

Angelic Palliative & Hospice Care Blog - Palliative Care may be healthcare's best kept secret

Those who live with a chronic or serious illness face physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges. Family members are also stressed with providing care and support and many times are ill-prepared to provide the attention that is necessary. Palliative care maybe healthcare's best kept secret to provide care to those with chronic conditions. Many do not know that they may quality for this specialized service that is available at any stage of the illness and can be provided in conjunction with curative treatments.

"There is a misconception about palliative care which has prevented many from getting the help they need and deserve." explained Sheila Lill, MSN, APN, ACHPN, director of the Angelic Palliative Care Program. Palliative care can enhance daily living through a customized care plan to alleviate and manage pain and other symptoms associated with the patient's diagnosis or side effects from treatment. "Our goal is to help improve your quality of life and better cope physically and emotionally with the challenges of having a chronic condition or serious illness."

Typical symptoms addressed by palliative care include pain, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, swelling, anxiety, depression, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and difficulty sleeping. Conditions that are most common to benefit from palliative care include cancer, cardiac conditions such as Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), kidney failure, Alzheimer's and other dementias, Parkinson's, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), strokes, HIV/AIDS and other severe diagnoses or overall decline in health.

Additionally, the palliative program provides education for patients and their family members about the illness and its affects physically, mentally, and spiritually. The Angelic Palliative Care Team is a guide through making complex medical decisions and can help patient and family understand and complete advance directives, living wills, and/or POLST (Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) forms. We strive to lessen overwhelming feelings and to relieve loved ones of the responsibility of assessing healthcare choices.

Palliative care allows for patients to have their symptoms controlled from the comfort of their own home, assisted living, or nursing facility. Through a collaboration with the patient's physician, palliative care is provided by a team of expert professionals including a nurse practitioner, social worker, spiritual counselor, dietician and other disciplines to meet the patient's unique goals.

Palliative care is covered under Medicare B, Medicaid and other insurance providers. Co-pays may apply. To learn if you or a loved one could benefit from palliative care services call 609.822.7979, or email for a consultation.