"Palliative Care helps you manage symptoms and improve your comfort regardless of disease, stage, prognosis, age or where you receive health care services.
You can get Palliative Care at any age, any stage in your illness and for conditions that are chronic or acute. It is best when Palliative Care is started early.
Palliative Care does not take the place of other medical care, though it may help you stabilize your condition, manage care and catch new issues earlier.
Palliative Care does not replace curative care, and you may continue life-prolonging interventionslike chemotherapy for cancer.
You do not stop seeing a doctor when you receive Palliative Care: it is an additional layer of support.
Palliative Care is typically provided at home, with family, in a retirement community or in other facilities. You can continue accessing care while receiving acute treatment in a hospital, rehabilitation facility or other specialized clinics.
Palliative Care is not based on prognosis. It is based on the need for help managing a serious illness. Anyone with a life expectancy of more than six months who is diagnosed with a serious illness is a candidate for Palliative Care. Some examples of "serious illness" include COPD, heart failure, progressive renal disease, liver disease, ALS, Parkinson"s, Alzheimer"s or cancer. Age, stage and life expectancy are not determining factors for Palliative Care.
Other factors that might prompt Palliative Care include:
You have symptoms that are difficult to control and negatively impact quality of life and/or function, such as pain, nausea, fatigue, sleep problems, depression, anxiety, weight loss and others.
Your functional or cognitive ability is declining.
You"ve been hospitalized multiple times or had repeated visits for the same issues.
You"re uncertain about your prognosis or goals of care.
You or your family is under emotional or spiritual distress.
You or your family are confused about your care plan or have conflicting requests for care.
You do not have an advanced care plan.
You require complex treatments or those requiring training for you or your caregivers, such as tube feeding or TPN.
You or your loved one experience chronic mental illness, homelessness or other indications of limited social support or exacerbating illnesses requiring more intensive assistance with presenting serious illness."