Are you or a loved one facing a serious illness? Palliative Care can help. Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in your illness, and you can have it along with curative treatment. The goal is to relieve symptoms and stress and improve your quality of life.

Register Now for Our Live, Free Webinar: Managing Lung Cancer Symptoms and Improving Quality of Life

Register Here

Date/Time
Wednesday, August 8
12 – 1 pm ET

Featured Presenter
Andy Esch, MD, MBA

Webinar Description
If you or a loved one is living with lung cancer, you already know there can be difficult side effects and symptoms caused by the disease and its treatment.  Many linger and persist afterwards as well.

Symptoms and side effects can interfere with quality of life, daily life, and activities. They can even make it difficult to continue with the recommended course of treatment.  But there are ways to manage these challenges to make sure that you and your family live life to the fullest from the time of diagnosis onward. Join us for a free Webinar to learn more!

Who Should Attend
Anyone with lung cancer, and their caregivers

About the Presenter
Dr. Esch is medical education consultant to the Center to Advance Palliative Care. A palliative care specialist, Dr. Esch focuses on improving the quality of life for patients and their families as they face serious illness. Dr. Esch earned his medical degree from the University of Buffalo.

Register Here

Palliative care can help you live well with COPD

July 17, 2018

Living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) can be difficult: shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing can make you avoid doing the things you used to love.  But COPD doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying your life. Palliative care can help.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness like COPD. It treats the pain, symptoms and stress of your illness, with the goal of improving your quality of life. Palliative care is available at the same time as all your other treatments, providing an added layer of support for you and your family. It is provided by a team of palliative care doctors, nurses and others who work together with your lung specialist and other doctors.  

In practice, this means that your lung specialist will help you with the medical treatment of your COPD, while your palliative care team will carefully manage your symptoms and side effects. The team will also help you make sure that your treatments are in line with goals.

Over time, people living with COPD can develop very complex symptoms that include shortness of breath, low oxygen in the blood, cough, pain, and weight loss. They can also experience depression, anxiety, insomnia and loneliness. Palliative care doctors and nurses are experts in complex symptom management and will assess and treat you for all of these symptoms. For example, for shortness of breath – one of the most common symptoms – your palliative care team can teach you breathing and relaxation exercises and advise you on how oxygen may help for low oxygen levels in your blood.  

Your palliative care team can also help you choose what kind of treatment you may want in the future. These are difficult decisions to make, but it is important to think them through. If you have severe shortness of breath or lung failure, for example, paramedics and hospitals may intubate you in an emergency. This means you will have a tube in your throat and lungs connected to a machine that will breathe for you. This can provide effective relief for some patients, but if you have advanced disease and your lungs are not going to get better, then it may cause you more suffering. Your palliative care team can help you consider all of your options. They will also help you maintain the best possible quality of life no matter what you choose to do.

If you are living with COPD, ask your doctor for a palliative care referral. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and any stage of a serious illness, but earlier is better. Palliative care is available in most hospitals, in outpatient clinics, and in some areas, for home visits.

On GetPalliativeCare.org you can learn more, look for palliative care in the Provider Directory, and take a short quiz to see whether you could benefit from palliative care.

 

Register Early for Upcoming Webinar: Managing Lung Cancer Symptoms and Improving Quality of Life

Register Here

Date/Time
Wednesday, August 8
12 – 1 pm ET

Featured Presenter
Andy Esch, MD, MBA

Webinar Description
If you or a loved one is living with lung cancer, you already know there can be difficult side effects and symptoms caused by the disease and its treatment.  Many linger and persist afterwards as well.

Symptoms and side effects can interfere with quality of life, daily life, and activities. They can even make it difficult to continue with the recommended course of treatment.  But there are ways to manage these challenges to make sure that you and your family live life to the fullest from the time of diagnosis onward. Join us for a free Webinar to learn more!

Who Should Attend
Anyone with lung cancer, and their caregivers

About the Presenter
Dr. Esch is medical education consultant to the Center to Advance Palliative Care. A palliative care specialist, Dr. Esch focuses on improving the quality of life for patients and their families as they face serious illness. Dr. Esch earned his medical degree from the University of Buffalo.

Register Here

Lymphedema isn’t just a side effect. Palliative care can help.

June 25, 2018

Lymphedema is often brushed off as a minor complication of life-saving treatment for cancer. But if you are living with it, you know that lymphedema can have a major impact on your quality of life – affecting both your physical and emotional well-being. Palliative care can help.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. It treats the pain, symptoms, and stress of the illness with a focus on improving quality of life for you and for your family. It is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with your other doctors to give you an added layer of support. Palliative care is available at any stage of a serious illness and alongside all your other treatments.

Lymphedema refers to swelling that occurs in your arms or legs, caused by blockages in the body’s lymphatic system, which is an important part of your immune system. A blockage can prevent lymph fluid from draining well. The buildup of fluid leads to swelling. Blockages are most often the result of removal of, or damage to, lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment. There is no cure for lymphedema, and you will need life-long treatment to reduce the swelling and control your pain.

Treatments for lymphedema include exercises, physical and occupational therapy, wrapping the affected arm or leg, massage and special compression sleeves or stockings. For severe lymphedema, there are surgical options too. But if you have active cancer or other conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure or blood clots, your choices may be more limited. Your palliative care team will help you fully understand your lymphedema and your treatment options. They will take the time to talk about what is most important to you and match all of your treatment options to your goals.

As well as swelling, lymphedema can give you a feeling of heaviness or tightness, limit how well you are able to move, cause pain, and give you infections. It can also cause your skin to harden or thicken. Although it is most common in the arms or legs, lymphedema can also affect other parts of the body. People living with lymphedema can also have trouble coping emotionally and may develop depression or anxiety. Your palliative care team will assess and treat you for all these symptoms.

Your palliative care team will also help your family. Serious illness can take a toll on families, especially if they are providing full-time care for their loved one. Your palliative care team will make sure that your family has the support they need to cope with your care.

If you are living with lymphedema that is affecting quality of life for you and your family, ask for a referral to palliative care. Palliative care is available in most hospitals, and depending on your area, in outpatient clinics and for home visits.

On GetPalliativeCare.org you can learn more, look for palliative care in the Provider Directory, and take a short quiz to see whether you might need palliative care.

Upcoming Webinar: Managing Lung Cancer Symptoms and Improving Quality of Life

Register Here

Date/Time
Wednesday, August 8
12 – 1 pm ET

Featured Presenter
Andy Esch, MD, MBA

Webinar Description
If you or a loved one is living with lung cancer, you already know there can be difficult side effects and symptoms caused by the disease and its treatment.  Many linger and persist afterwards as well.

Symptoms and side effects can interfere with quality of life, daily life, and activities. They can even make it difficult to continue with the recommended course of treatment.  But there are ways to manage these challenges to make sure that you and your family live life to the fullest from the time of diagnosis onward. Join us for a free Webinar to learn more!

Who Should Attend
Anyone with lung cancer, and their caregivers

About the Presenter
Dr. Esch is medical education consultant to the Center to Advance Palliative Care. A palliative care specialist, Dr. Esch focuses on improving the quality of life for patients and their families as they face serious illness. Dr. Esch earned his medical degree from the University of Buffalo.

Register Here

Quality of life after stroke. The role of palliative care.

May 27, 2018

Strokes can be life-changing events with serious physical and emotional consequences. If you, or someone you love, has suffered from stroke, you may be struggling to take it all in and feel lost in the maze of decisions for your future medical care. Palliative care can help.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness, including stroke. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for patients and their families, by treating the pain, symptoms and distress of the illness. It is provided by a team of palliative care doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with all of your other doctors. It is available at the same time as all other treatments, providing patients and their families with an added layer of support.

Your palliative care team will take the time to talk to you and your family about what is important to you, and help you understand what you can expect from your recovery. Your preferences, needs and values will provide a roadmap for your medical decisions. Your palliative care team will help you and your family understand the benefits and risks for your treatment options and will work with your other doctors to make sure your care lines up with your goals. If you are making decisions for a loved one after a stroke, your palliative care team will also help you communicate with other family members.

Palliative care includes support for families who need to make difficult decisions about life-sustaining treatments like surgery, feeding tubes and breathing machines. It also includes support for planning rehabilitation after a stroke and coordinating the care you choose. For example, what is the right mix of speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy to give you quality of life? Are there other therapies, such as meditation or music therapy, that could help you achieve your goals?

Social workers on the palliative care team can also help you and your family with decisions about where you want to live and be cared for. Depending on how much care you need, options could include living at home with home health care, assisted living residences, skilled nursing or acute rehabilitation facilities. Your social worker will help you understand exactly what is provided at each level of care, including what Medicare will pay for.

Palliative care doctors are experts in complex symptom management. As well as treating physical symptoms, such as pain from muscle spasms, they will also treat emotional symptoms. People often experience depression, anger, and anxiety after a stroke. Your palliative care team can help you cope with these feelings.

If you, or someone you love, has experienced a stroke, ask for a referral to palliative care. Getting palliative care early can make a big difference for patients and families when they need it most. Almost all large hospitals have palliative care teams, and it’s also available in outpatient clinics and for home visits, depending on your area.  

Palliative Care Helps ALS Patients Maintain Control

May 20, 2018

For people living with ALS, one of the most common fears is losing control: control over your body, and control over your life. Palliative care can help you keep as much control as possible, supporting you and your family to maintain your quality of life.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with serious illnesses like ALS. It focuses on treating the pain, symptoms and stress of illness, giving you and your family an added layer of support. It is provided by a team of palliative care doctors, nurses, and other specialists who will work together with you, your neurologist and other doctors to manage your symptoms and help you make important decisions as your disease progresses. You can get palliative care at any age and at any stage of your illness, and when you’re facing ALS, it’s best to get it as early as possible.

But what does this all mean in practice? If you have just received your diagnosis, your palliative care team can help you fully understand your disease and its likely course, as well as the interventions that can manage your symptoms, such as pain from muscle spasms or cramps, numbness, or the feeling of burning in the lower limbs. The team can also make sure you maintain your function and strength for as long as possible. Trouble chewing or swallowing can be a significant problem for a person with ALS, for example, and caregivers may need help to learn different ways to handle meals.

Over time and as your symptoms develop, your palliative care team will have regular, in-depth conversations with you about what’s important to you and your family. They will also help you fully explore and understand the pros and cons of different treatment choices like feeding tubes, breathing machines, and hydration. The goal is always to make sure your care matches your goals and with what you want. Whatever can be controlled, will be controlled.

If you or someone you love needs palliative care, don’t wait to ask for a referral. Early involvement of palliative care can give you the added layer of support to help you and your family enjoy the best possible quality of life.

Almost all large hospitals have palliative care teams, and it’s also available in outpatient clinics and for home visits, depending on your area. You can visit GetPalliativeCare.org to learn more, look for palliative care in the Provider Directory, and take a short quiz to see whether you might need palliative care.

Webinar: Living with Kidney Disease: Pain and Itch, and the Role of Palliative Care

Listen and watch on-demand here.

Recorded: Tue, May 15, 2018, 1:00 PM ET

Featured Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Scherer, MD, Division of Palliative Care and the Division of Nephrology at NYU School of Medicine in New York City

If you or a loved one is living with serious kidney disease, you might be struggling with symptoms such as pain and itchiness.  Read more … Read More