What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is medical care that improves the quality of life for patients who have a serious illness, such as cancer. It is a comprehensive approach that minimizes symptoms and the distress that can occur with serious illness. Palliative care teams facilitate communication between patient, families, and providers. In addition, we aim to relieve stress and worry by addressing the practical needs of both patient and family.
Who can receive it?
Palliative care can begin at diagnosis and continue through treatment and beyond. Essentially, any patient with cancer can receive palliative care.
Can I still receive cancer treatment?
Palliative care does not replace your cancer treatment. You will continue to follow with your cancer team and primary care provider while receiving palliative care.
We partner with your care team.
How We Can Help
Our palliative care team can help:
- Manage symptoms caused by cancer or its treatment, including:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Treat depression and anxiety related to cancer
- Address spiritual distress and increase spiritual strength
- Enhance communication with doctors and family members
- Support you in becoming clear on what your goals are for your care and treatment
- Assist you in completing healthcare directives
Your provider may recommend palliative care services. You may also request an appointment from your healthcare team. Services are available to all patients via telemedicine or in clinic. Your family members and caregivers are an important part of your care. We encourage you to include them in your appointment. After your initial appointment, the team will follow up with you on a regular basis to address concerns and provide ongoing support.
Will insurance cover this?
Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers typically cover palliative care services.
Benefits of Palliative Care
Studies have shown that adding palliative care to your cancer care can:
- Improve quality of life
- Possibly extend length of life
- Help reduce caregiver stress
- Decrease trips to the hospital
Patients and families can experience a multitude of emotions with a cancer diagnosis. The palliative care team can help patients cope with difficult emotions by prescribing medications, facilitating family meetings, and providing referrals to support groups or mental health professionals.
The palliative care team can identify resources for the practical concerns that may arise with cancer. treatments. Common concerns include finances, help within the home, nutrition, and legal questions. We can also help you to prepare for future care needs.
Palliative Care is a medical specialty which considers the whole person; body, mind and spirit. Our spiritual care provider focuses on increasing spiritual strength and resiliency through different interventions, following your lead. Spiritual coping may be supported with tools such as guided imagery, meditation, or prayer. We can also assist with creating legacy projects that you can then share with family members, providing energy sessions for symptom relief and increasing energy, as well as creating a safe space for sharing areas of spiritual distress and concern.
Meet our Palliative Care Team:
- Minnesota Network of Palliative Care & Hospice: http://www.mnhpc.org/
- The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network: http://acscan.org/qualityoflife
- The Center to Advance Palliative Care: http://getpalliativecare.org/
- Choosing Wisely: https://www.choosingwisely.org/
- The Center to Advance Palliative Care video explaining palliative care: https://youtu.be/nsSr3fSS2Ws?list=UUTcl0ZX34NVJj77Hm2_1OLg