When is it time for Palliative Care?

The decision to add palliative care services to your care team is an important one. Our experience tells us that palliative care will have the most benefit if involved early in the course of a serious illness. Here are some examples of situations when palliative care would be helpful:

When you are told that you have one or more of the following illnesses:

  • Advanced (serious) cancer of any type
  • Advanced heart or lung disease
  • Neurological diseases, such as ALS, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
  • Kidney or liver failure

When you are experiencing symptoms that prevent you from being as active as you wish or impact the quality of your life, including:

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Serious confusion or memory problems
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Changes in sleep
  • Difficulty coping with the stress of serious illness
  • Spiritual or religious concerns related to the illness
  • Fear or worry about what the future will bring

Indications that your health is declining:

  • Frequent emergency room visits and/or multiple hospitalizations for related reasons
  • Difficult side effects from treatment
  • Less ability to care for yourself

When you or your family need help planning for the future:

  • Knowing what to expect as your illness changes
  • Making decisions about treatment choices
  • Understanding the benefits and burdens of treatment choices
  • Clarifying your goals for care now and in the future
  • Understanding what programs or resources are available
  • Facilitating communication for patient, family and the healthcare team
     

If you or a loved one is in need of palliative support, please talk with your clinician about our Palliative Care services.

Inpatient palliative care is available at these locations:

Visit www.CaringBridge.org

CaringBridge is a nonprofit offering many ways for people to care for each other during any type of health event.

 
 
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