March 13, 2018

Palliative Care & The Patient

What it is, and how does it help?

Palliative care is available to patients from the time they are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. This type of care provides an extra layer of support during your difficult medical journey. It can include a variety of care specialists, including doctors, pain management, therapists, clergy, and more. Palliative care treats you as a whole person - not just a diagnosis.

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SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT

Seriously ill patients  who are enrolled in a palliative care program receive guidance from medical professionals with expertise that helps patients find relief from a variety of symptoms, including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and depression. Your palliative care team can help you manage these symptoms while helping you to better understand the treatments and medications prescribed especially for you.

Palliative care patients and family members also receive guidance from social workers, bereavement team members and spiritual care providers, who help patients and families navigate all of life while coping with a serious illness. This “whole person” approach takes into account that we are all physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual beings and that each patient and family are part of a larger community at large.

The focus of palliative care is to enhance life for patients and family members, for however long it lasts. Since physical symptoms are often affected by our emotional well being, this team based approach often helps patients feel better throughout the care journey. 

COMMUNICATION & CARE COORDINATION

Palliative care teams  understand that clear communication between patients, family members and care teams is of the utmost importance. Palliative care team members will often initiative conversations with patients and family members in order to hear your thoughts on surrounding goals of care, decision making, and other issues related to your healthcare journey. In the past, patients we often told what to do. In palliative care, patients and family members are a valued part of the overall care team.

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QUALITY OF LIFE

Acclivity Health Solutions supports you and your palliative care team by ensuring that you are receiving the best possible care coordination. Our innovative platform provides opportunities for input from patients, family members and/or caregivers so that the palliative care team can adjust care plans, as needed. This feature is key to helping patients and families alike, live as fully as possible.