What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a type of specialized medical care for patients with an advanced illness or a life-limiting disease. It is sometimes referred to as “comfort care”.
Goals of Adoray’s Palliative Care Program are to:
- respect and support patient preferences;
- improve pain and symptom control;
- help prevent unnecessary or unwanted emergency department visits and hospitalizations; and
- assist patients in experiencing the highest quality of life possible.
Adoray’s Palliative Care Program uses a team of healthcare professionals designed to assist in improving comfort and the quality of life. An Adoray health care professional visits the patient on a regularly scheduled basis in their place of residence. Adoray’s Palliative Care team meets every fourteen days to discuss each patient’s care with Adoray’s Palliative Care medical director. This team takes an individualized and holistic approach to care, focusing on the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual discomforts of an individual in this phase of life.
How are Care Needs Determined?
Adoray’s Palliative Care team members directly involved with the patient’s care meet regularly with the Adoray Palliative Care medical director to discuss current care, medications and treatments being provided, and to assess if other approaches should be considered. Any recommended changes in care are then discussed with the patient, caregiver, and the patient’s primary physician. Agreed upon adjustments are then made to the patient’s care plan.
Where can Adoray’s Palliative Care Services be Provided?
Services may be provided in the patient’s own home, assisted living facilities, community-based residential facilities, group homes and independent living centers.
Who Pays for Palliative Care Services Provided by Adoray?
Medicare, Medicaid, and many private insurance plans cover home health palliative care services, according to the contract provisions of the policy. Adoray staff will check individual insurance benefits for each patient. If criteria are met, these insurances usually cover services at 80% to 100%.
Who is Appropriate to Receive Palliative Care?
Adoray’s Palliative Care Program is appropriate for anyone with a life-limiting prognosis or an incurable disease whose treatment goals are moving toward being less aggressive and more comfort focused.
The patient typically:
- has a deteriorating medical condition;
- has pain or other symptoms that are not well-managed;
- finds it is a considerable and taxing effort to leave home;
- has a caregiver available to provide care if and when necessary;
- believes hospice care may be appropriate at some point but does not want hospice care yet;
- may want to discuss treatment goals, plans or decisions
How is Palliative Care Provided?
Adoray believes each person has an individual set of needs unique to them. Adoray’s Palliative Care team does not simply treat a disease, but provides care and support to a person. Patients “pick and choose” what is important for them to focus on. Care is provided by a team of experienced professionals who are part of Adoray’s Home Health and Hospice staff.
Alongside the patient and family, members of the Palliative Care team include:
- Nurse’s Aides
- Social Workers
- PT, OT, Speech Therapists
- Patient’s Primary Care Physician
- Palliative Care Program Physician/Medical Director
- Spiritual Counselors
- Bereavement Counselors
What Services are Offered Through Adoray’s Palliative Care Program?
Services available through Adoray’s Palliative Care Program include:
- Skilled nursing visits to help the patient focus on living well, addressing physical symptoms which may include nausea, pain, breathing difficulties, sleeplessness, weakness or depression.
- On-call nurses available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for telephone consultation or visits, if needed.
- Social work visits to help with the stress and anxiety of being seriously ill or to connect the patient and/or family members with outside financial services.
- Professional nursing and/or social work visits to help sort through sometimes daunting treatment options and to assist with decision-making regarding these treatment options.
- Spiritual counselor visits to help connect or reconnect the patient with their local church or to provide direct spiritual counseling and support.
- Visits by trained volunteers so the primary caregiver may comfortably leave for short periods of time, such as run errands, attend church services or appointments, or go out to lunch with friends. Volunteers may visit to play cards, write letters, talk, or run errands. They may also bring in a therapy dog or provide music presence.
- Home visits by Adoray’s Palliative Care medical director. At any time, Adoray’s Palliative Care medical director and the patient’s primary care physician may confer and determine the need for Adoray’s Palliative Care medical director to make a home visit to further assess the patient and make recommendations to the primary care physician.
What is the First Step to Receive this Service?
Ask for it! Tell your doctors, nurses, family or caregivers that you want more information about comfort care during treatment. Don’t wait too long to ask for help! Call Adoray directly or ask your physician, healthcare provider, or caregiver to call Adoray for you. We can provide information over the phone and can make a free home visit to assess your individual situation.