What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care is for adult and pediatric patients with a potentially life-limiting or chronic disease who still desire curative or life-prolonging treatment. Palliative Care aims to relieve symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. It helps patients gain the strength to carry on with daily life; it improves their ability to tolerate medical treatments, and it helps them better understand their choices for care.
Palliative Care works best when instituted early in a life-limiting diagnosis. Palliative Care planning should begin early in a patient’s journey of a debilitating illness.
Who is a candidate for hospice services?
Anyone who has a life-limiting illness, is under the care of a doctor, chooses comfort care that manages symptoms, rather than aggressive treatment focused on a cure, or someone who requests hospice services.
Conditions that could require hospice service are:
- Heart disease
- Pulmonary disease
- Renal disease
- Liver disease
- Stroke or coma
- HIV disease
Indication that a patient may benefit from Hospice Care:
- Continued decline in health in spite of treatments
- Multiple hospital stays in the past six months
- New diagnosis following hospitalization or diagnostic evaluation
- Repeat or multiple infections
- Unintentional weight loss
- Increased or uncontrolled pain
- Changes requiring multiple calls to a physician for new medication, laboratory, or treatment orders
- Shortness of breath
- Changes in mental status
- Any other uncontrolled symptoms
The Hospice Care Program from Berks and Pottstown VNAs:
Hospice Care can be provided wherever the patient is most comfortable: in their own home, nursing facilities, or hospitals. Our Hospice Team is made up of the best home care has to offer with compassionate nurses, social workers, a spiritual counselor, home health caregivers and dedicated volunteers. It also includes the assistance of other services when necessary.
A Registered Nurse will go to the patient’s place of residence to evaluate hospice appropriateness and explain our services to the patient and/or family at no charge.
To learn more about our Hospice Services, contact our intake line at 610.378.0481 x 2002.