Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care can be provided during all stages of serious illness, and often serves as an extra layer of support along with curative treatment.
Palliative medicine is based on your needs, not on your prognosis. Our team has specialized doctors, advance practice professionals, nurses, social workers, and chaplains all working together to provide support for you and those you love.
A palliative care consultation may be desirable when a doctor feels that a patient may need:
The purpose of the AIM program is to work with patients and their families who are currently under the care of home health but are dealing with the advanced stages of a serious illness. The AIM Care team provides curative and aggressive treatments with the comfort, peace and dignity of palliative care. Established as a bridge between curative and comfort care, the AIM program seeks to meet the needs of the advanced chronically ill patients who currently “fall between the cracks” of hospital, home health and hospice services.
Not all home health agencies provide AIM home health programs, but many community home health agencies do. Your physician, social worker or palliative care professional can assist you in identifying these services in your community.
Hospice care focuses on improving the quality of life for persons and loved ones faced with a life-limiting illness. People become hospice-eligible when it is expected they will die from their condition within 6 months, although many patients live longer than this and can remain in hospice. The primary goals of hospice care are to provide comfort, relieve physical, emotional and spiritual suffering, and promote the dignity of terminally ill persons. Hospice care neither prolongs nor hastens the dying process but assures comfort.
Hospice care is a philosophy or approach to care rather than a place. Care may be provided in a person’s home, nursing home, assisted living, hospital, or independent facility devoted to end of life care. Ochsner LSU Health currently offers hospice services within each of our hospitals based in Shreveport and Monroe.
Who pays for hospice?
Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance generally cover hospice. There are companies/policies that require a co-pay, but this is not the norm. Hospices are paid a daily amount by the insurance provider to take care of the person, and out of this payment, hospice provides all services, including medicine, medical equipment, wound care supplies, professional visits and bereavement support.
Does a referral to hospice mean the person’s doctor has given up on him/her?
On the contrary, a referral to hospice means that a doctor recognizes that the illness is advancing despite every effort to treat it, and the person needs specialized treatment to maximize their comfort and quality of life. It is an important time for a thorough conversation between physicians, patients and their loved ones to understand where they are in the course of their illness, and what the recommended options are for them. It is a time when the health care team may assess that the discomfort of aggressive treatments are no longer beneficial. This often comes as a relief to people who are tired of being in the hospital, tired of going through painful treatments, and tired of the hassle of frequent doctor appointments that accompany these treatments.
What exactly does hospice do for people?
What DOESN’T hospice do?
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