Get Palliative Blog

Living with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia: How Palliative Care Can Help

November 25, 2020

By Andy Esch, MD 

If you care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, you may be struggling with the day-to-day challenges and maintaining quality of life. Dementia is a disease of the brain, which begins with memory loss, confusion, and difficulty making decisions, all of which worsen over time. This may mean that your loved one doesn’t recognize their surroundings or people in their life, or may not be able to find the right words or do tasks that were once handled easily.  … Read More

A Quality Life: How Palliative Care Helps Joni Live Well with COPD

November 17, 2020

Sixty-six year old Joni knows all too well that living with the lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – or COPD – can be stressful. The main symptom is shortness of breath, which worsens over time. The disease and treatments also cause coughing, wheezing, tremors, and emotional effects, such as anxiety and panic attacks, depression, and insomnia.

When Joni’s lung doctor of more than a dozen years referred her to a palliative care doctor, the goal was to address the worsening symptoms from the illness and its treatments, and help Joni live her life in the fullest way possible.

This is Joni’s palliative care story.  … Read More

How Home-Based Palliative Care Can Help You or a Loved One

November 2, 2020

By Spencer Christensen, MD

If you or a loved one are living with a serious illness like cancer, heart or lung disease, you may need help managing symptoms, improving your quality of life, or reducing stress. Palliative care can help.  … Read More

Relieving the Symptoms and Stress of Huntington’s Disease – Palliative Care Can Help

October 18, 2020

By Andy Esch, MD

Living with Huntington’s disease can be extremely challenging. It’s a disease of the nervous system and brain, with symptoms that typically progress over time. These can include uncontrollable movements in your arms, legs, or body overall; painful muscle jerking; and difficulty swallowing or breathing. Huntington’s can also cause mental disturbances such as nervousness, mood swings, depression, and personality changes. … Read More

Coronavirus and Parkinson’s Disease: What You Need to Know

September 22, 2020

Having Parkinson’s disease (PD) comes with many uncertainties and anxiety. On top of this now is the concern about coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. PD symptoms can worsen when you also have another illness.  And some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may increase the risk for complications from this respiratory virus, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing. Other factors that may increase risk of complications are older age and having other serious medical conditions such as heart disease, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, and kidney failure.  The added stress from worry over catching the new virus and the need to remain at home can also increase PD symptoms.

Meanwhile, much of the country is beginning to open, which makes it more important than ever to remain safe – and know what to do if you feel sick.  … Read More

Living Well with Serious Illness: A Young Mother’s Cancer Story

September 8, 2020

At age 37, April was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She endured 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation, as well as a mastectomy. Her life centered on her two young daughters and the hair salon she ran and owned. The cancer and its treatment were devastating enough, but matters got worse when she had to give up her work at the salon because of symptoms and side effects. 

“Being a hairdresser was always something I wanted to be even as a kid. I was the girl putting curlers in my cat’s hair for practice. Not being able to work was really hard,” says April.

Her cancer doctor recognized that April could use an extra layer of support to deal with nausea and hot flashes, pain that made standing difficult for more than a few seconds at a time, and the emotional toll it was taking on her. The doctor referred April to a medical specialty to help her address these symptoms. The ultimate goal was to get her back to the job she loved.

This is April’s Palliative Care Story.  … Read More

What to Know About Coronavirus If You Have Liver Disease

August 24, 2020

There is a lot of uncertainty about COVID-19 (coronavirus), but current information shows that people with liver disease or those who have received organ transplants might be at higher risk for severe illness from this new virus. And as much of the country begins to phase in routine activities, it’s more important than ever to remain safe and know what to do if you feel sick. … Read More

Parkinson's News Today

PCORI Award to Bring Palliative Care to Parkinson’s Foundation Specialty Centers in US

August 17, 2020  /  By Mary Chapman

Managing the Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects of Chronic Kidney Disease – Palliative Care Can Help

August 9, 2020

By Jennifer S. Scherer, MD

Living with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) presents many challenges. You may sleep poorly, feel weak or tired. Your skin can itch. Food tastes different, and you just don’t feel like eating much. It’s difficult to get around because your feet and ankles are swollen. All in all, it’s hard to get through the day and do many of the things you and your family used to enjoy. 

But you don’t have to go through this alone. There are ways to improve your quality of life. Palliative care can help.  … Read More

Do You Need Help with Symptoms and Stress from Parkinson’s Disease?

July 27, 2020

By Andy Esch, MD

Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressing and long-lasting condition that can cause many challenges to those diagnosed and their families. In addition to affecting muscle movement, it can impact mood and cognitive abilities; involve pain; cause sleep disturbances and other distressing symptoms. While it’s not curable, much can be done to manage the disease and its symptoms. For example, patients and families can ask for a referral to a palliative care team — a medical team that focuses on improving quality of life and relief of symptoms and stress caused by living with serious illnesses.  … Read More

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