If you or a loved one are dealing with the symptoms and stress of a serious illness or painful disease, palliative care can help ease pain or relieve symptoms.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care to help patients manage the symptoms and discomforts of serious illness. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life for patients and their family. It's all done in collaboration with a medical team comprised of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with the patient and family to provide support.
Palliative care may be helpful when patients are experiencing complex medical conditions, including:
- Complications from cancer
- Congestive heart failure
- End stage respiratory disease
- Nausea and continued weight loss
- Issues related to Alzheimer's, dementia or other memory issues
Palliative care is appropriate for people of all ages at all stages of serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment. At Wellspring Lutheran Services, our team of caregivers helps bring clarity and awareness to your illness. Through thoughtful discussion and education, patients are able to make informed decisions related to their care.
Who qualifies for palliative care?
In order to participate with palliative care, patients must qualify for home care. That means a primary physician or specialist has to make a referral to home care, and the patient must be homebound and have a skilled need.
What is the service area?
Wellspring Lutheran Services covers a 50-mile radius from Frankenmuth, Michigan.
How does it work?
As part of the palliative care process, a nurse assesses the patient's needs and collaborates with the physician on recommendations for treatment. Specialty nurses are consulted to provide expertise in symptom management. Conversations are encouraged regarding the patient's wishes for care.
Our palliative care team also includes a social worker, who connects patients and families to community resources, provides counseling related to feelings of depression or loss, and assists with financial matters. There's also a medical director on the team, who is available as needed for consultation. As part of the circle of care, reports are sent back to the referring physician to ensure everyone within the medical team has a complete picture of the patient's progress.