Palliative Approach to Treatment at Home ®
A service of Ministry Home Care - Home Health Services
Managing Health at the Crossroads
Palliative Approach to Treatment at Home brings palliative care to home health patients.
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is care of the whole person. It includes the body, mind, heart and spirit. Care is designed for patients with very serious illnesses and their families. The goal of the PATH team is to make life the best it can be when individuals are living with declining health. A team of nurses, chaplains, social workers and a physician provide care. At times, other professionals will be consulted to provide care and insight.
Historically, palliative care has been offered in hospital and clinic settings - with PATH, those services can be accessed in the comfort of one's home.
What does the PATH program offer?
This unique service:
- Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms.
- Affirms life and regards dying as a part of the life cycle.
- Intends to neither hasten nor postpone death.
- Offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient's illness and in their own grief, including the needs of children.
- Uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families.
- Will enhance the quality of life, and may positively influence the course of a patient's illness.
Pain and Symptom Control
Often patients with serious illnesses experience pain. The PATH team helps those patients and their families to understand the cause of the pain, and offers treatment options that can help to alleviate that pain. There are often other symptoms – emotional as well as physical – that also need treatment; the PATH professional help to address those too.
Individuals living with serious illnesses can face a variety of social problems, including living alone, money, transportation, family issues, limited family support, caregiver stress, and other issues. The PATH social worker will help the patient and family with these challenges, exploring options and networking available resources to make life easier.
How is PATH different from Hospice Services?
While both Hospice and PATH strive to make life better for patients with serious illnesses, there are important differences
- Hospice is care for individuals who are no longer involved in curative treatments. Hospice patients have a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease runs its normal course. Hospice patients do not need to be homebound.
- To participate in the PATH program, patients must have an advanced illness, be homebound, and have a skilled medical need. Treatments intended to cure the serious illness can be continued while on the PATH program, and the patient does not need to be in the last six months of life.
- Sometimes patients will choose to transfer from PATH to Hospice Services. The PATH team will assist those patients and their families to ensure a smooth transition.