palliative care

Ask your doctor about palliative care in the hospital

This is the sixth and final article in a series about palliative care.

Palliative care can help relieve troublesome symptoms of serious chronic diseases, not just when you are at home, but also when you are in the hospital. Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Prescott recently re-launched its palliative care program. Richard Rader, the coordinator of the palliative care program there, is a nurse practitioner who is board-certified in palliative care.

Plan palliative care options well in advance

This is the fifth in a series of articles about palliative care.

Palliative care can help improve your quality of life and ability to function when a serious medical condition and/or the treatments you are getting for it have resulted in symptoms that significantly disrupt your life.

Three common sites at which to get such care are the hospital, a nursing home (nursing or skilled nursing facility), and your own home. This column provides some comments about the last two from two board-certified palliative care practitioners.

Getting a referral for a palliative care specialist

This is the fourth in a series of articles about palliative care.

Palliative care can help improve your quality of life if you have a serious - often chronic - illness. Last week's column explained how to organize your thoughts and feelings to explain what you are looking for from palliative care. But how do you even find and get a referral to a palliative care specialist (who may be a doctor, nurse practitioner, or social worker focusing on palliative care)?

Identify what you need from palliative care

This is the third in a series of articles about palliative care.

You've heard that there's a branch of medicine, palliative care, that can help improve your quality of life if you have a serious - often chronic - illness. But what exactly do you ask for?

What does palliative care consist of?

This is the second in a series of articles about palliative care.

Palliative (PAL-yuh-tiv) care focuses on reducing pain and suffering and increasing quality of life in people with serious illnesses, regardless of the expected course of their disease or how long they are expected to live. It can also help their families.

Palliative care: It's not just for people in hospice

This is the first in a series of articles about palliative care.

What could "palliative" care possibly be? Isn't a "pall" a shroud or gloomy atmosphere - as in "cast a pall over?" Yes, but get ready for a completely different idea. Care that is palliative (PAL-yuh-tiv) is designed to cloak or cover - in other words, make recede into the background - the pain or suffering or stress felt by people who have serious medical conditions, and also to ease the distress felt by their loved ones.

What to look for when choosing hospice care

This is the fifth article in a five-part series that explores the experiences of patients and families who have used hospice services.

Hospice services are intended for people who are believed to be in their last six months of life. Hospice is based on the concept that "each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity," according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Hospice: 'Their only regret is not approaching it sooner'

This is the fourth article in a five-part series that explores the experiences of patients and families who have used hospice services.

Wendy’s opening comments are typical of those of people who have had family members in hospice: “I didn’t know anything, really, about hospice. Having my mother pass there was just great -- it was just such a gift.”

She explained, “She had Stage IV lung cancer. She went through chemo. She was sick for a long time. My dad was healthy and took care of her and she wanted to die at home.”

Given a choice, woman prefers hospice to home

This is the third article in a five-part series that explores the experiences of patients and families who have used hospice services.

Emotions run high when family members start talking with organizations that provide hospice, as husbands and wives and sons and daughters of formerly vibrant, active people confront the fact that their loved one's condition isn't going to improve. Despite the challenging circumstances, hospice often shines even though the road is sometimes rocky.

Madeline tells her story.

Without hospice, 'my experience would have been 1000% different'

This is the second article in a five-part series that explores the experiences of patients and families who have used hospice services.

Most people are unfamiliar with hospice care. This series demystifies it by sharing with you what family members of hospice patients think that you might want to know about it.

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