What To Expect From Palliative Care

Any serious illness can be scary. When you or a loved one starts receiving palliative care, there are probably a million questions running through your mind. The first thing to remember is that the goal of palliative care is for the patient to get better. Palliative care consists of curative treatments to help improve patient health. So, although you may be nervous, palliative care offers a lot of hope. 

If you’re feeling nervous about you or a loved one undergoing palliative care, it might help to stay informed about what you can expect. This new approach to care provides care coordination and supportive services in the home without discontinuing other treatment options.

Your continued care, along with VNA’s supportive services will improve patient outcomes through the following: 

  • Case Management by a Registered Nurse
  • Development and navigation of patient-centered goals
  • Promotion of communication between you and your care providers regarding treatment options
  • 24/7 nurse access for symptom management
  • Facilitation of the transition to hospice care when you decide you no longer want to pursue curative or aggressive treatment

Along with the above list of services, palliative care services are highly customized, home-based care plans that work with each patient’s unique needs. While you are undergoing physician-directed care, we’ll also ensure RN care coordination, so you don’t have to worry about that. Palliative care may also support patients with various forms of symptom management that still allow you to preserve treatment flexibility and prevent emergency room visits or hospitalization whenever possible. 

If you choose to undergo palliative care treatment with VNA Care Choices, below are a few things you can expect about the process:

  1. Patients come to us through a physician referral, or families reach out to us directly. If a physician refers you to our care, we will work directly with the doctor on review of all medical records and the patient’s condition. If you reach out to us directly, we can connect with the patient’s physician to begin the referral and medical review process for you.
  2. A VNA Care Choices Community Liaison will reach out to you to conduct a benefits review and complete any necessary paperwork. Once the paperwork is complete, a nurse will visit the patient for a full evaluation which will inform the plan of care.
  3. If the patient meets eligibility criteria, he/she is admitted to our care and a customized care plan is put into action, which will include an interdisciplinary team and visits designed to meet his/her unique needs. Families can expect updates from their dedicated RN Case Manager after each visit.

Overall, the program focuses on improving quality of life, patient/family satisfaction, and reduction of emergency room visits and acute hospital stays. The idea is that you and your family will have greater control in care decisions.