Monday, April 25, 2016

How Altoona Hospice And Palliative Care Centers Can Help You

By Gannon G. Hollick

The decisions regarding a loved one who is ill can be very taxing and stressful. There are so many issues to consider, and so much for the caretaker to learn. That is where an Altoona hospice and palliative care facility can help. The doctors, nurses and other staff at these facilities know what you are going through and know what to expect when these tragic things happen. Let them be your guide so you can rest easy knowing your loved one is in good hands.

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.

Palliative care is somewhat similar to hospices, but the patient does not necessarily have a fatal disease or condition to contend with. Instead, they may have a life changing condition that is treatable or at the very least manageable. Of course, treatment or management means a lot of medical procedures, so they need to stay in a palliative medical facility. Eventually they may be able to return home, though a return trip may also be necessary at some point.

With either of these choices, the main thing is that the patient feels safe and secure. The facilities provide 24 hour staffing, even on holidays and weekends. There is always medical staff available to make them as comfortable as possible. They may even be offered alternatives like having a priest or chaplain or a therapist to help them psychologically.

Another focus after the patient is the family or friends. They may be going through quite an emotional upheaval, and may need the help of a support group or therapist, which some centers provide. In fact, many bereavement groups are open to the public, and not just for people who have a loved one in the facility.

This type of specialized care can also be extended to patients with conditions like Alzheimer's or dementia, which requires a whole new set of skills. In fact, many places offer a separate wing or ward just for these cases, so if this is what your family member has, then rest assured they will be well cared for at all times.

If a doctor has recommended this type of facility, then most insurance plans will foot at least part, if not all, of the bill. However, there may be deductibles or co-pays involved as well. Call your plan provider and make sure that all of this is covered that way there are no surprises later on.

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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