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Palliative Care: What you need to know

What is palliative care?

Palliative (PAL-ee-ah-tiv) is specialized care for patients struggling with symptoms associated with a chronic medical condition.

  • Palliative care's goal is to ease pain and other symptoms that affect your quality of life. 
  • Palliative provides physical, emotional, spiritual and social support. 
  • The palliative team listens to your questions and concerns. They work with you to meet your needs.

Why choose palliative care?

The best way to make sure your symptoms stay under control is to handle them before they get worse. The palliative care team is focused on managing your symptoms.

Who is eligible for palliative care?

  • Palliative care is for any patient who is having difficult symptoms from a serious illness. 
  • You can have palliative care and treatment to cure your illness at the same time.

When is it time for palliative care?

Reasons patients and families choose palliative care include:

  • Trouble managing their pain and other symptoms. 
  • A desire for an improved quality of life. 
  • Help coping with the stress of a serious illness.

What services are provided?

Our specially trained palliative doctors and nurses work directly with your primary doctor and other healthcare teams. Palliative care services include medicine and other therapies for:

  • Pain 
  • Loss of mobility 
  • Fatigue 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Problems such as nausea, heartburn, constipation and loss of appetite
  • Sleeplessness 
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Help with understanding and coping with your illness
  • Help in goal setting for better quality of life 
  • Spiritual support to the patient and family if needed 
  • Nutrition consultation 
  • Advance care planning 
  • Community resources coordination, including setting up home care or other services.
  • Help with moving from active treatment to a more comfort-focused approach as treatment becomes less effective and more difficult.

Who pays for palliative care?

Palliative Care is covered by:

  • Most private insurance plans 
  • Medicare 
  • Medical Assistance

There are also private-pay options. If you have any questions or concerns about insurance contact a Gundersen Health System customer service representative at (608) 775 8660 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 58660.

For more information on palliative care: Contact the Gundersen Palliative department by calling: (608) 775-9336 or (800) 362-9567, ext. 59336.

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