Palliative Care: Extra Level of Support

March 11, 2022

Palliative Care:  Extra Level of Support
A personal experience from a WCL staff member.

Not long ago my siblings and I were introduced to the unfamiliar world of palliative care.  It came at an emotional time when decisions were needed and needed quickly.

Thankfully a very patient team of specialists took the time to explain to us what palliative care is, while answering our never-ending questions. How does Palliative care work?  Who pays for it? What is the difference between it and hospice care?  Looking back, I am grateful for the wealth of information our family received during that difficult time.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness.   At the time, both of my parents were suffering from chronic illnesses and understanding palliative care helped us make more informed decisions on their behalf.  Because palliative care is based on the needs of the patient rather than their prognosis, we were able to determine what was the best course of action for each of them.

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) notes that “numerous studies show that palliative care significantly improves patient quality of life and lowers symptom burden. Apart from being the right thing to do for patients, this improved quality of life also means that an encounter with the health care system is less stressful and traumatic for families.”

Caregivers experience an improved quality of life as well.  Our financial concerns were alleviated when we learned that my parents’ care would be covered by Medicare and their private insurance.  Although it was still a very difficult time for my family, our anxiety was reduced and we received peace of mind knowing we were making educated decisions, rather than emotional ones, for our beloved parents.  Palliative care provides an extra level of support when you need it the most.

To learn more about palliative care, its many benefits and how the COVID pan