Transitions Palliative Care Program Provides Whole Patient Care

July 26, 2016

Each year, millions of people in the United States are diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. Unfortunately, too many of those patients will suffer needlessly from pain, nausea and other symptoms of their disease. Many times the treatment of the disease is the focus, and symptoms or side effects are not always addressed, or could be addressed better. The Transitions Palliative Care Program is a program that focuses on providing relief from symptoms related to disease progress or treatment related symptoms. This is called palliative care. The care is focused on the whole person, not just the illness. The program is dedicated to helping individuals and families, in partnership with their physician, live well with a serious, life-limiting illness.

Transitions logo TagWhat does that really mean? When a patient is admitted into the Transitions Palliative Care Program, the care team becomes the patient advocate. The team partners with the patient’s attending physician for all health care decisions. The attending physician is free to focus on treatments and curative care while the palliative care team looks after the overall quality of life for the patient and family. This may include proactive symptom management such as identifying and addressing sources of pain or other discomforts like breathing difficulties, fatigue, insomnia, and more. Knowledge and expertise is also provided by a licensed clinical social worker. The social worker can help alleviate the immense stress family members and caregivers carry by providing psychological and emotional support. They also help link family members with a large array of community programs like Meals on Wheels, support groups, and paratransit services. The social worker can also help the patient and family set life goals. Additionally, the palliative care team can provide essential education specific to the illness or disease and its expected progression. By maintaining open and constant communication about the patient’s progress, families and caregivers are better equipped to handle what comes next with both patient care and critical decision making regarding treatment or care plans. The outcome of patient and family driven goals of care can result in a reduction of unwanted hospitalizations, making patient care easier, and providing a better overall quality of life.

Do you know someone who is dealing with a life-limiting illness and needs help obtaining information and understanding of their illness and its challenges? Or perhaps is having trouble managing the activities of daily life? The Transitions Palliative Care Program may be the answer. Criterion for admission is a diagnosis of illness with the prognosis of one year or less. Admission into the program does not require the patient to cease pursuing curative care. The program services are covered by most insurance programs. Most importantly, you have access to the patient’s case manager 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When critical questions or situations arise, you are one phone call away from a highly skilled healthcare professional, an experienced problem solver, and a passionate patient advocate.

For more information about the Transitions Palliative Care Program, call 530.272.5011 today. Find out if the program is the right step for you or someone you know.

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