How Palliative Care Can Help You
Emotional and social challenges. A palliative care team can help you and your loved ones talk about feelings and solve problems. Palliative care team members may talk to you about your feelings about living with a serious illness. They may help you work through stressful family situations. They might even be able to help you arrange transportation or find resources to help pay for medicines.
Spiritual concernsSpiritual concerns. It can be scary to think about living the rest of your life with a serious illness. You may be struggling with questions such as "Did I do something to deserve this illness?" or "Has my life been meaningful?" or "What is going to happen to me when I die?" Your palliative care team may include a chaplain or spiritual adviser who can help you talk through these kinds of questions.
Goals and dreamsGoals and dreams. Maybe you have always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon or be reunited with a long-lost sister. A palliative care team may be able to help you feel well enough to make these goals and dreams come true.
Hospice careHospice care. When you, your loved ones, or your doctors feel that you may have less than 6 to 12 months to live, you may want to think about hospice. This kind of care is given wherever you are, whether that is a nursing home, hospital, or your own home.
Advance directivesAdvance directives. You can fill out legal papers called advanced directives. These important papers tell your doctor about the kind of care you want at the end of your life. For example, you decide if you want doctors to use machines to keep your body alive when it can no longer do so by itself, and you can say how long you would be willing to live on these machines.
You may find it helpful to read personal stories about how palliative care has helped others.