PARENTS AS RARE – EPISODE 074
Exploring Palliative Care
Kimberly Matias, a social worker, and Michelle Hurty, a physician assistant, join me for an exploratory conversation about palliative care to dispel the myths that exist and provide information to my listeners.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is a multi-disciplinary service that gets involved with patients and their families after the diagnosis of a serious or life-limiting illness. We work alongside the primary care team to coordinate communication, clarify any confusion or information, help the family along the journey and explore treatment goals. While hospice service is focused on end-of-life care with a six month or less prognosis, life expectancy isn’t a condition for palliative service and we may work with patients for many, many years. Our role is to advocate for the patient.
Who makes up a palliative care team?
In order to provide full care, most palliative care teams have a multi-disciplinary team which may include a social worker, chaplain, physicians, a physician assistant, nurse practitioner and pharmacist.
With disease progression and symptom presentation being different for every patient, who is a good candidate for palliative care?
Our goal is to capture people upstream, recognizing their treatment goals are going to change over time as their disease progresses or evolves. Palliate care is for any point after someone receives a diagnosis and we’re happy to get involved and be helpful all along the way.
At an initial palliative care appointment, what questions are helpful to patients and families to ask and how can they prepare?
Go in with an open mind, be open to having conversations and consider what you would like your healthcare to look like. It’s helpful to think in advance about how things are going at home and what kind of resources are needed. Identify your durable power of attorney for healthcare in advance and if you have a living will, bring those documents with you.
LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED
Get Palliative Care
Are you or a loved one living with a serious illness? Palliative Care can help. Palliative care is specialized medical care focused on relieving the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage, and you can have it along with curative treatment.
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
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Exploring Palliative Care