Understanding Palliative Care
When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, you have a long road ahead of you. But you don’t have to travel that road yourself. Palliative care from Alice Hyde Medical Center provides the education, guidance, counseling, and even symptom management you need to make the most out of life on your terms as you deal with a life-limiting, chronic illness.
How Palliative Care Helps Patients and Families
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to palliative care. Chronic illnesses affect people in different ways. They bring symptoms, side effects, and stress that can disrupt quality of life. But for any given diagnosis, there is a common trajectory. Our Palliative Care Team helps you understand your particular disease so you can know what to expect from it and make informed decisions about how to deal with it. That way, we can find a way to support your personalized care goals based on the quality of life you hope to experience.
The Alice Hyde Medical Center Palliative Care Team is made up of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, counselors, nutritional experts, and other professionals. We can coordinate your care so that everyone involved in your treatment understands what’s important to you and what you want to get out of your treatment. If you experience loneliness, anxiety, or depression, we can help address that through individual or family therapy. We can also help with physical afflictions like difficulty breathing or sleeping, loss of appetite, nausea, or constipation.
Here’s a brief overview of what we offer:
- Information and guidance about the illness and treatment options
- Counseling for both the individual and the family
- Spiritual and emotional support
- Coordination of care among all providers
- Relief of symptoms (pain, shortness of breath, etc.)
What’s A Life-Limiting, Chronic Illness?
A chronic illness or condition is defined as an illness that lasts three or more months. Palliative care is for life-limiting chronic illnesses—those that make it extraordinarily difficult to live life as you normally would.
While many of our patients are elderly, palliative care is not strictly for the aged. Referrals for palliative care frequently come for people with the following diagnoses:
- Congestive heart failure
- Dementia including Alzheimers
- Failure to thrive
- Liver Disease
Palliative Care Is NOT the Same As Hospice Care
Generally speaking, palliative care is for individuals who may be seeking curative or life-prolonging treatments for a chronic illness. The focus is on helping patients make the most of life while dealing with a disease. Palliative care patients typically live many years! Hospice care, on the other hand, is a subset of palliative care that provides comfort for patients whose diagnosis is considered terminal and who are no longer seeking active treatment.
Is Palliative Care Right For You?
If you suffer from some of the symptoms, side effects, or stress mentioned above, the experienced, compassionate Palliative Care Team at Alice Hyde Medical Center could provide just the support you need to cope. Ask your physician for an Alice Hyde Medical Center palliative care referral. We’ll be glad to help.