Posted By: Ashlee
When thinking about care for our loved ones, many of us need information about service options available. Depending on the stage of an illness and the goals and values of the individual, hospice or palliative care may be helpful options to explore.
Hospice cares for patients with a life limiting illness with a focus on quality of life, symptom management, and patient directed care. Hospice care does not seek to cure, to hasten or prolong, but instead offers comfort and support. This type of care is provided where the patient resides and is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and all major insurance carriers. Hospice provides each patient and their family with an interdisciplinary team of individuals specializing in medical, social, spiritual, and emotional care. This includes physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors, pharmacists, CNAs, chaplains, and volunteers, who provide companionship and support with the goal of enhancing quality of life.
To become eligible for Hospice care, the patient’s physician will certify a probable life expectancy of six months or less. After six months, the patient can continue hospice care if they meet appropriate criteria for recertification. One thing to note, no decision is permanent. At any point, a patient may decide hospice is not for them and return to their primary health benefit. Hospice care is holistic and truly focuses on the unique, personal wishes of a patient and their family.
Palliative care is a method of care that surrounds and supports the patient and family. It offers patients and families comfort while supporting the best possible quality of life available- regardless of stage of illness or need for other therapies (such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy). Through optimizing a patient’s function and helping with decision-making, Palliative care provides pain management in relation to changes in health.
Palliative care should be considered when you, or your family member, have:
- Been informed by a physician of a life-limiting illness
- Progressively declining health, despite treatment
- Frequent hospitalizations
- Decreased ability to perform regular activities of daily living
- Patient and family wishing to cease aggressive treatments
The Courtyard collaborates with the many agencies in Northern Colorado that provide both hospice and palliative care to keep our residents in the comfort of their home.