Paramount to the hospice philosophy is providing patients with freedom from pain and difficult symptoms. Care that gives comfort, eases pain or lessens the severity of symptoms without curing the underlying disease is called “palliative care.” Hospice of Holland offers a Palliative Care Program for patients who are suffering from an advance illness that is serious but not necessarily terminal, or for those not yet ready for hospice care. Upon request from the patient’s physician, our board certified hospice and palliative care physicians provide a consultation including evaluation and treatment of difficult-to-control symptoms or discomfort due to the illness or ongoing treatments.
What is Palliative Care?
To palliate, from the Latin “to cover with a cloak,” means to make a person more comfortable by treating their symptoms when it may not be possible to treat or cure their underlying cause. Symptoms may include pain, nausea, or difficulty breathing.
Since 1981, Hospice of Holland’s skilled clinical staff has provided comfort care, with great success, for people who have life-limiting illnesses. Hospice of Holland’s Non-Hospice Palliative Care program uses the same experts to provide non-hospice palliative care to people who have a serious illness, and strive to improve an individual’s quality of life.
Those individuals may be going through aggressive care such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or treatment of such illness as heart or kidney failure and are not ready for hospice care. Non-hospice palliative care can be provided at any stage of the serious illness, even from the time of the initial diagnosis. Individuals may receive palliative care and other aggressive care at the same time and patients may begin receiving the benefits of this care without having to wait until they are in the last six months of life.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Who can receive this care? Anyone with an advance illness, regardless of the stage of that illness. Non-hospice palliative care can be used early in the course of an illness, for anyone having difficulty with control of symptoms.
Can I continue to receive treatments to cure my illness? You may receive non-hospice palliative care and curative care at the same time.
May I receive home care at the same time? Yes.
Does Medicare pay? Medicare will pay for a physician consult.
Does private insurance pay? Most insurance companies will pay for needed physician services, like a home visit, our on-site outpatient clinic, or a visit in the hospital or other place of residence.
What is included in the group of services? Hospice of Holland’s program consists of physician visits to evaluate and treat any symptoms that are hard to control. Hospice of Holland offers additional support services and implement them as needed.
How long can I receive care? This will depend on each individual patient’s care needs, and the coverage you have through Medicare, Medicaid or other insurance.
Where are services provided? Patients are seen in Hospice of Holland’s on-site outpatient clinic or when needed, wherever the patient resides; in their home, an area facility, or the hospital.
Palliative Care Program Goals Include:
- Complex Symptom Management – helping patients and their families understand their illness and look at appropriate treatment options.
- Communication with patients and families to establish goals of care.
- Partnership with an individual’s physician to ensure patients receive the best possible care. Patients receiving palliative care have reported decreased pain, improvement of appetite, less anxiety, and more strength and guidance to make decisions surrounding their quality of life. Hospice of Holland has offered non-hospice palliative care for five years and has made it a goal to improve the quality of life, during and after treatment of an illness, for a seriously ill person and their family.
What Type of Care Do Palliative Care Patients Receive?
Hospice of Holland’s board certified physicians have specialized training in managing symptoms of advanced illness. Upon the request from a patient’s physician, our physician team will offer a physician consultation to assist in determining what course of treatment is recommended.
Palliative care patients benefit from:
- Helping patients understand the course of the disease or illness.
- Hospice of Holland’s expertise in managing complex physical and emotional symptoms
- A palliative care team including a physician, registered nurse and social worker
- Help resolving questions about goals of care and treatment options
- Improved patient/family communication, help with family meetings, and coordination of multiple sources of care
- Decreased symptoms and anxiety
- Assessing the potential value of introducing pastoral and counseling resources to help patients and families cope with the transitions they are facing.
- A comfortable new palliative care outpatient clinic at 270 Hoover Blvd in Holland, or when necessary, visits at their home or nursing facility