Thursday, February 25, 2016

How Altoona Hospice And Palliative Care Centers Can Help You

By Gannon G. Hollick

When a loved one becomes ill and needs assistance, it can be very taxing on the family. If everyone works, there might be nobody home to take care of the sick person. In some cases, the help they need is so involved that only medical professionals are really qualified to do it. In these cases, an Altoona hospice and palliative care center can help you by taking care of the sick person while also providing other much-needed services.

Before you decide on which facility to use, it's important to know what their function is. A hospice has many uses, especially for those is in the final stages of a debilitating and ultimately fatal disease. They may need around the clock observation, and the focus is often on making them as comfortable as possible for their remaining days.

On the other hand, palliative care is given to anyone who needs it, but the condition it is helping is not necessarily life threatening. It could be a life altering condition though, which is why doctors and nursing staff are usually needed. Some patients are only temporary in this kind of facility, and could go home if their doctor allows it. They may be in and out of the program as needed, depending on what disease they have.

In both cases, the focus is on the patient's needs to make the transition from either home or hospital as easy as possible. This comfort may be provided in the form of pain medications as prescribed by a doctor, but other alternatives may be used. Some people request spiritual guides such as priests or pastors, while others seek psychological help from a therapist.

There are a lot of emotions that goes with having a family member or friend in one of these facilities, and that is not something that should be ignored. That is why many centers offer additional group or individual therapy for loved ones. Some even have these sessions open to the public, so anyone who needs help can get it.

Not all conditions need the same level or type of care, especially when the disease or injury has to do with the brain. This is especially true in the case of dementia or similar conditions where specialized treatment is an absolute must. Since many places have a special unit for these patients, ask if that would be appropriate for your situation.

Depending on the situation, many insurance companies will cover at least part of the facility costs, provided a doctor recommended it. In some cases, palliative care is done in a hospital, so the cost is automatically absorbed as part of the hospital stay. Talk to your plan administrator if you have any questions about what is or is not covered.

When dealing with a family member who is ill or dying, every choice seems potentially agonizing. A good facility with trained, certified caretakers is likely your best options. They know what to do and can guide you through this process to make it easier for everyone involved.

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