What is Palliative Care, What is Hospice Care?

Palliative care provides relief from pain and other difficult symptoms from illnesses including cancer, heart and respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s disease,  ALS, and multiple sclerosis.  Palliative Medicine Consultants’ clinicians work with your doctors to treat symptoms, maintain function and help patients to reach their goals. 

How can palliative care help? 

  • Help with managing pain and controlling other difficult symptoms including breathing difficulty, weakness, fatigue, nausea, bowel and bladder problems, anxiety, depression and insomnia
  • Education about the patient’s illness
  • Help in making healthcare decisions
  • Practical and assistance for the patient and family or caregiver

When can palliative care help?  Palliative care can be started at home, in a nursing home, in the hospital or at our outpatient clinic at 685 Good Drive in Lancaster. We will work with your doctor to design a treatment plan, monitor your progress and make changes as needed to provide ongoing relief and support. Palliative care is often provided at the same time as other treatments (such as chemotherapy or radiation).

How can I get palliative care?  To have a consultation with a palliative care clinician, ask your doctor for a referral or call us at (717) 735-3131. Care is available for patients of all ages. Medicare or insurance plans usually cover palliative care. However, if you are without coverage, care is still available.

Hospice care provides medical, emotional and spiritual support for individuals and families who are coping with a serious illness.  Hospice care focuses on comfort for adults, teens and children of any age who have been diagnosed with a serious illness and are expected to have weeks or months, rather than years, to live. 

How can hospice care help?

  • Nurse available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to all questions and concerns
  • Hospice aides help with personal care including bathing, dressing, oral and nail care, and household tasks
  • Physicians and nurse practitioners, specialized in hospice and end-of-life care, to help manage symptoms, discuss treatment options and plan medical care
  • Emotional support. counseling and assistance from social workers with community resources
  • Spiritual support from Hospice chaplains who work closely with community clergy to provide support to the patient and family or caregiver
  • Massage and music therapy available to patients to relieve pain, bring comfort and provide support
  • Volunteers available to visit patients at home, in senior care facilities or in the Bob Fryer & Family Inpatient Center

When can hospice care help?  Hospice care can provide much-needed help and support for patients and their families once they are diagnosed with a serious illness.  A Hospice & Community Care nurse will visit a family to learn what help is needed.  We encourage families to call early during an illness so that we may be able to provide as much help and support as possible.

How can I get hospice care?  For more information about hospice care or to schedule a visit by a Hospice nurse to learn more, call (717) 391-2421 or (844) 422-4031.  Medicare or insurance plans generally cover hospice care, however, care is available for everyone, regardless of financial resources.