Is Palliative Care Right For You?

 

If you or a family member are experiencing challenges due to a serious illness, palliative care may be helpful.  Answer these key questions to see if palliative care could be right for you or someone close to you.

1.  Do you have one or more chronic illnesses such as:

  • Cancer
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, lung disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure

2.    Do you have symptoms that make it difficult to be as active as you would like to be, or impact your quality of life? These symptoms might include:

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

3. Have you experienced the following:

  • Difficult side effects from treatment
  • Eating problems due to a serious illness
  • Frequent emergency room visits
  • Three or more admissions to the hospital within 12 months, and with the same symptoms

4. Do you need help with:

  • Knowing what to expect
  • Knowing what programs and resources are available
  • Making medical decisions about treatment choices/options
  • Matching your goals and values to your medical care
  • Understanding the pros and cons (benefits/burdens) of treatments (e.g., dialysis, additional cancer treatments, surgery, etc.)

5. Do you need help with:

  • Coping with the stress of a serious illness
  • Emotional support
  • Spiritual or religious support
  • Talking with your family about your illness and what is important to you

If you answered yes to one or more of these challenges, palliative care may be helpful to you.

Our Palliative Medicine team provides pain and symptom management to patients at home, in local nursing homes, and hospital rooms. To speak with someone about palliative care or the services provided by Palliative Medicine Consultants, please contact us at (717) 735-3131.