Palliative Care

Palliative care [pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv] specializes in the relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. The goal is to prevent and ease suffering and to offer patients and their families the best possible quality of life. While useful at any stage of an illness, palliative care can be provided at the same time as treatment that is meant to cure you.

Where do I receive palliative care?
Palliative care can be offered in a number of places. These include hospitals, long-term care facilities and hospices, or at home. Oakwood Healthcare System offers palliative care at Oakwood Hospital - Dearborn through the Palliative and Restorative Integrated Services Model (PRISM) team.

What does PRISM do?
PRISM works together with your doctor to help relieve distressing symptoms, restore function to your highest abilities, and provide care that is consistent with your values, beliefs and preferences.

For more information contact
Chris Westphal | 313.593.8614

Does my insurance pay for palliative care?
Most insurance plans cover all or part of the palliative care treatment you receive in the hospital, as with other hospital and medical services. This is also true of Medicare and Medicaid. Drugs and medical supplies and equipment may also be covered. If costs concern you an Oakwood social worker or financial consultant f can help you with payment options.

How do I start getting palliative care? 
Start by talking to your doctor or nurse. Tell your family, friends and caregivers that you want palliative care. Then ask your doctor for a referral.

How do I know if palliative care is right for me?
Palliative care may be right for you if you suffer from pain or other symptoms due to a serious illness. Serious illnesses may include: cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis. Palliative care can be provided at any stage of illness and along with treatment meant to cure you.

What can I expect from palliative care?
You can expect relief from symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. Palliative care helps you carry on with your daily life. It improves your ability to go through medical treatments. And it helps you better understand your condition and your choices for medical care. In short, you can expect the best possible quality of life.

Is it the same as hospice?
No, it is not the same; however, there are similarities. Hospice is a form of palliative care for people who are nearing the end of life. Hospice may be a choice when curative treatments are no longer an option.

Who provides palliative care?
Usually a team of experts, including palliative care doctors, nurses and social workers, provides this type of care. Chaplains, massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, and others might also be part of the team. The Oakwood PRISM team includes healthcare providers from a variety of disciplines who work together with your doctor and others caring for you on a daily basis.

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