In-Home Palliative Care
What is in-home Palliative Care?
In-home Palliative Care is provided to patients when ordered by an attending physician upon discharge from the hospital, or by a physician – primary care or specialist –seen in the community. The in-home Palliative Care team includes registered nurses, home health aides, physical and occupational therapists, a social worker, and a chaplain who assist patients and families facing serious illness.
This specialized team makes visits to the patient’s home and focuses on meeting a patient’s medical, emotional and spiritual needs. To accomplish this goal, the team:
- Ensures that pain and other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath or anxiety are managed
- Provides hands-on care for wound care and other medical needs
- Provides personal care, as needed, for bathing and activities of daily living
- Honors patient wishes
- Provides physical or occupational therapy for muscle rehabilitation and quality of life
- Plans for the future course of illness, including discussing the choices patients are likely to face
- Discusses various treatment options and the impact of choices on lifestyle
- Provides emotional and spiritual support to patients and families, including children
- Reviews advance directives/living wills, healthcare proxies and end-of-life care
The Palliative Care team works closely with the patient’s physician to develop a plan of care that focuses on each individual patient’s concerns, values and goals.
In-home Palliative Care is intermittent care – frequent, but not daily, visits. Care can continue for several weeks to a few months depending on the patient’s medical needs, goals and desired level of care. Patients who qualify for in-home palliative care are homebound, meaning that leaving home requires a significant and taxing effort.
For more information or to make a referral for in-home Palliative Care, call 215-481-5800.