Palliative care focuses on relieving patients’ stress, pain and other symptoms as their health declines, and it helps them maintain their quality of life. It’s for people with serious illnesses, such as cancer, dementia and heart failure. The idea is for patients to get palliative care and then move into hospice care, but they don’t always make that transition.
Case Study #1 Sharp Healthcare
Sharp HealthCare, located in California, pre-hospice program called Transitions, is designed to give elderly patients the care they want at home and keep them out of the hospital.
Social workers and nurses from Sharp regularly visit patients in their homes to explain what they can expect in their final years, help them make end-of-life plans and teach them how to better manage their diseases. Physicians track their health and discard unnecessary medications. Unlike hospice care, patients don’t need to have a prognosis of six months or less, and they can continue getting curative treatment for their illnesses, not just for symptoms.
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