Palliative care can help you stay safely at home
Do you, or someone you love, have a serious illness such as cancer, heart failure, lung disease or kidney failure? If so, you may be sick of trips to the emergency room and unwanted hospital stays to treat pain, shortness of breath or other symptoms. Palliative care can help you stay safely at home.
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It will treat your pain and other symptoms. It will help you understand your disease and your treatment options. It will help you, and your family, cope with the everyday challenges of living with a serious illness.
There are many palliative care services to help people outside of the hospital. You may be able to get help at home, at your local doctor’s office, or in your cancer center, for example. Some hospitals offer outpatient palliative care. You can get palliative care at the same time as treatment for your disease and at any stage of your disease.
Having this extra layer of support at home can make a big difference to your quality of life. Expert pain and symptom control will keep you, or your loved one, more comfortable. A 24-7 telephone hotline to nursing advice could help you avoid those unwanted trips to the emergency room. And you may be able to find nursing help or meal delivery services.
Your palliative care team will consist of a doctor, a nurse and a social worker. All will be specialists in palliative care. They will spend as much time as needed to understand your situation and how they can help you.
Ask your doctor or social worker about palliative care services in your area and how to get them. You can also find community resources on http://www.caringinfo.org
Why spend time in the hospital if you don’t have to? Palliative care can help.