Palliative Care at Home: What you Need to Know
If faced with a serious illness, most of us would rather remain in the comfort and security of our own homes. But sometimes illness becomes hard to manage alone—even with the help of a family caregiver.
You may have heard the term “palliative care” or know someone who has benefited from this unique type of care. But there’s still a lot of confusion about what it is, how it helps, and when it is available.
Care focused on quality of life during treatment for a serious illness
Simply stated, palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. The goal of palliative care is to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. It brings specialized care to people living with the symptoms and stresses of serious illnesses such as cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), Alzheimer’s, kidney disease, liver disease, and many others. Patients on palliative care can continue receiving treatment to cure illnesses or lengthen life.
An intensive, holistic approach
Palliative care is a level of care for people who do not need or qualify for hospice care. It is more intensive and holistic than home health, which is typically short-term and goals driven. Many refer to palliative care as an “extra level of care” when you need it most. It helps patients and their families gain a higher quality of life despite their illness or injury through care that’s in keeping with their values.
Patients enrolled in Delaware Palliative keep their own personal doctor as their attending physician. Each Delaware Palliative patient is assigned a nurse practitioner, who coordinates care with the patient’s personal doctor. Delaware Palliative’s team physicians oversee the patient’s palliative care team and are available for consultation on matters of symptom management.
A support team for the whole family
One of the great benefits of palliative care is that it supports family caregivers in their caregiving role. This helps lessen the risk of caregiver exhaustion and, in many cases, depression. The Delaware Palliative care team includes specialists who focus on physical, psychological, and spiritual care of the patient and their family. Our team works together with you, your family, and your doctors to develop an individual plan of care that meets both your wishes and your needs.
If you or a loved one is facing a serious illness, you may benefit from palliative care. Palliative care is available at any point in your illness. Many believe palliative care should begin at diagnosis, no matter the prognosis, to benefit the patient and family to the greatest possible extent.
If you feel your symptoms increasing and quality of life decreasing, it may be time to ask for the care you need. We’re happy to talk to you about how Delaware Palliative can help.