What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is specialized medical care focused on comfort. When you or a loved one faces a serious illness, finding solutions to challenges such as pain, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, shortness of breath, anxiety and other symptoms is our specialty. Our health care professionals specialize in treating symptoms, side effects, and emotional problems. Our goal is to help you feel better and maintain the best possible quality of life.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?

Hospice care is specialized care for terminal illness.  Palliative Care is for those who do not qualify for hospice but have symptoms that would benefit from medical attention.

Hospice Care

  • Care is provided by a team (Doctor, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, Nurse, Social Worker, Nurse Aide, Chaplain and Volunteer).
  • Care is provided in the comfort of your own home, wherever you call home.
  • 24 / 7 / 365 availability to RN by phone or visit.
  • Patient desires comfort care rather than treatments or therapies, since curative treatments are no longer helpful to reach reasonable goals.
  • Comfort treatment, such as wound care, is provided.
  • Covers most medications, equipment, and supplies
  • Cost is generally covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance.
  • Grief support groups available at no cost.

Palliative Care

  • Care is provided by a team (Nurse, Social Worker, Chaplain, and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner as needed)
  • Care is provided in the comfort of your own home, wherever you call home.
  • 24 / 7 /365 availability to RN by phone. Visits can be scheduled.
  • Curative treatments are actively pursued. Palliative care can be provided along with curative treatments, home health care, or other therapies.
  • No “hands-on” care is provided. Support includes education, medicine review, assessment for health changes, and coordination with Primary Care Physician.
  • Does not cover medications, equipment, or supplies.
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner and Licensed Social Worker visits are covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance, just as it is with a doctor’s office visit. Co-pays may apply.
  • Grief support groups available at no cost.

Who might benefit from palliative care?

Serious illness can be a tremendous challenge for you and your family. Examples of illnesses that can benefit from Palliative Care are:

  • Heart Disease
  • Lung Conditions
  • Dementia
  • Cancer
  • Kidney Disease
  • Many other Serious Illnesses

What does palliative care include?

Our Palliative Care Program is overseen by a Doctor and a Registered Nurse who are state licensed and specially trained in Palliative Care. The purpose of our visits is to assess, monitor and provide relief for your symptoms both physical and emotional. Our goal is to help you maintain the best possible quality of life.

You will receive:

  • In-home visits by a Registered Nurse as appropriate
  • Education about your illness, treatment and medications
  • Assistance with pain and symptom management
  • Help arranging in-home visits by an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP)
  • Reports to your current Medical Provider and immediate contact should a concern arise
  • Emotional support for you and your family members
  • Safety and fall prevention education
  • Suggestions for improved nutrition and hydration
  • Help with future plans and health care decisions, including hospice when appropriate
  • Social Worker and Chaplain support as appropriate

When should I consider palliative care?

When your serious illness has become more difficult to manage and is causing increasing distress for you and your loved one, it is time to call us to discuss Palliative Care.

Symptoms and situations include:

  • Increased number of trips to the physician’s office or difficulty getting there
  • Unresolved pain issues
  • Difficulty understanding medications or management of your illness
  • Emergency visits for hospitalizations
  • Decreased appetite or unexplained weight loss (or gain)
  • Increased difficulty breathing
  • Considering a move to a Care Facility
  • Need for in-home care
  • When making treatment decisions has become difficult

How do I begin receiving palliative care services?

It all starts with a simple phone call. You, a family member, friend, medical provider or a Residential Facility can call Horizon Palliative Care at 509 489-4581. We will answer your questions, discuss your specific needs and, if appropriate, initiate Palliative Care services.

It is important you know that Palliative Care does NOT limit your medical options. It is provided along with curative treatments such as chemotherapy, dialysis, etc.