Benefits of the Choices Program
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Unlike traditional palliative care programs, which often provide outpatient care at hospitals and physicians’ practices, the Choices Team will provide care in the patient’s home or via telehealth, eliminating any barriers for patients who find it difficult to leave their homes for medical appointments.
Advocating for patients is a big part of what we do. We help patients have an understanding about what they are facing and we arm them with the questions to ask their primary care physicians and specialists to allow for informed decision-making. As medical providers, we are giving patients the whole picture of their health status to allow them to make decisions that are right for them. We follow patients throughout their disease, giving them the ability to understand where their health is currently versus six months or a year ago, and how those changes might impact the decisions they are making currently.
Every member of the Choices Team helps patients with decision-making and life planning. We work with patients so that we have a better understanding of what is important to them, including their medical goals and who should be speaking for them if they cannot speak for themselves in the future. Our team also puts paperwork in place to help ensure that patients’ wishes are honored by everyone who is involved in their care.
We educate patients and families on how to manage their own symptoms. Often we will not only manage the symptoms that are happening right now, but we try to anticipate what may be an issue in the future so that we can start to educate the patient ahead of time. We may put medications in place and teach patients how to use them, as we want patients to be as prepared as possible to manage symptoms as they arise.
We are giving patients a sense of control over their care and comfort. We can give patients and families information to allow them to make choices with knowledge and forethought.
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