Putting Pain in Its Place
Pain. It’s one of the most universal experiences of people living with advanced stage or terminal illness. From the swelling associated with congestive heart failure to the effects of a tumor, pain has many sources and shows its face in many ways.
But few people are aware of a critical resource to help them get their pain under control: hospice/palliative care. (What’s the difference? Learn more about hospice vs. palliative care here.)
At Delaware Hospice, our hospice/palliative care team works in partnership with your own doctor to improve your wellbeing and quality of life. Because of our unique role and approach, we can help you get a better handle on your pain.
Pain management benefits of hospice/palliative care include:
- Tapping our team’s pain management expertise. Because pain management is what we do every day, we already have extensive experience and training in what medicines and therapies work well in different situations. Familiarity with the typical side effects of different treatments enables us to plan accordingly so we can maximize your comfort.
- Getting 24/7 support to rapidly address changes in pain symptoms. Because we’re always only a phone call away, we can help you avoid unnecessary trips to the ER or an excruciating wait for an appointment with your doctor to reign in pain symptoms.
- Regularly assessing patients’ goals. Some patients want maximum pain relief. Others want to prioritize alertness over their level of pain control. And sometimes those goals shift—like when a patient wants to adjust their medications so they’re better focused for an upcoming wedding. Whatever your priorities are, we’re here to help you achieve them.
- Preventing new pain from arising. Our holistic approach includes teaching you and your family how to avoid common problems associated with advanced illness, such as falls and bedsores.
- Addressing emotional, social, or spiritual pain. Our counselors, social workers, and chaplains are available to help you and your family cope with the social, spiritual, and emotional pain associated with an illness.
Just the other day we enrolled a patient who had been coping with growing chest and leg pain for several months. It wasn’t until a fall sent her to the ER that she finally learned how hospice care could help. After only 24 hours in hospice care, she couldn’t believe what a difference it made—she said she felt the best she had in the last six months!
Of all the feedback we receive from patients and their families, there’s one regret we hear over and over: I wish I had known about hospice/palliative care sooner. Getting enrolled in hospice/palliative care earlier means getting your symptoms in check earlier. And as new problems arise, you’ll already have someone standing by to help.
Even if you’re not sure if hospice/palliative care is right for you, we’re here to help you identify your options. Answering questions is what we do. It’s what all hospices do. After all, a little information can’t hurt!