Being hospitalized with a serious, progressive illness can often be difficult and confusing. You and your family may have questions about your illness and decisions you must make.
At Forrest General, we have a special team to help you and your loved ones during this difficult time. Our Palliative and Supportive Care Team will become a partner with you, your family and your other doctors to meet your physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Palliative care, and the medical specialty of palliative medicine, is specialized medical care that provides relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both you and your family.
Palliative care is provided by a team who will spend as much time as necessary to support you and your family, not only by helping to control your symptoms, but also by helping you to understand your treatment options and goals. It is appropriate at any age and any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Advanced Care Planning
Advance care planning is a process individuals understand, reflect upon, and discuss goals for future healthcare decisions in the context of their values and beliefs.
Part of advanced care planning is producing a written plan that expresses the individual's preferences and thoroughly prepares others to make decisions consistent with these preferences. Visit the National Healthcare Decisions Day's website below for resources on writing advanced directives.
What can I expect?
Our Palliative and Supportive Care Team works together with your own doctors, to make sure that you receive:
- Relief from symptoms including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, numbness, problems with sleep and much more
- In-depth communication with you and your family about your goals, your concerns and your treatment options − and how to match your goals to those options
- Coordination of your care among all of your health care providers
- Improved ability to tolerate medical treatments and the side effects of the disease
- Improved ability to carry on with daily life
- Enhanced emotional and spiritual support for you and your family
- Assistance with discharge planning including referrals to community resources.
Where can I receive palliative care?
Palliative care can occur at the same time as all other treatments for your illness. There’s absolutely no reason to wait. In fact, some studies have shown that palliative care may extend life. Pain and other symptoms affect your quality of life and stress can have a big impact on your family. The Palliative and Supportive Care Team can help.
Will my insurance cover palliative care?
Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative care. It is handled like other medical services, such as oncology or cardiology.
How do I begin?
You may already have been referred to the Palliative and Supportive Care Team, but if not, just ask your doctor for a referral. We work together with your primary doctor and health care team.
For more information, call the Forrest General Hospital Palliative and Supportive Care Coordinator at 601-288-4307 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome questions from patients and family members.