PALLIATIVE CARE BY CASCADE HEALTH
Support. Empowerment. Relief.
If you or someone you love struggles with symptoms of a serious illness, it’s normal to sometimes feel like your disease has taken away your options and hijacked your life. Cascade Health Palliative Care can help improve your quality of life and sense of empowerment by recommending ways to relieve your symptoms and engaging you in the course of your own care. For palliative care in Eugene, Oregon, trust Cascade Health for holistic approaches to pain management and quality of life improvement.
What Palliative Care Means
Palliative care is sometimes referred to as “comfort care,” and focuses on managing pain and other symptoms of serious illnesses. The goal of Cascade Health Palliative Care is to reduce the mental, physical and emotional discomfort brought on by chronic illness and to ease the stress on patients, families and caregivers. It is an inherently holistic approach to care that looks at all your symptoms and circumstances to identify how changes to your treatments, medications, therapies, lifestyle and support system can make a positive difference in your daily life.
How Does Palliative Care Work?
Cascade Health Palliative Care provides an added layer of support for you, your family and your other providers. An experienced team of clinicians, nurses and other specialists from Cascade Health work closely with everyone involved in your care to identify areas that can be improved to make your life better and implement a plan to achieve your goals.
This begins with an initial consultation with a Cascade Health Palliative Care clinician. Your clinician will meet with you in your home to talk at length about your health history and your unique health goals and aspirations. They will then collaboratively build a care plan to help you achieve those goals, monitor your progress and work with you and your doctor to continually fine tune your plan and treatments.
Your plan will most likely change over time as your condition and wishes evolve. What doesn’t change is that you and your family are the decision-makers in your care. We provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions, then monitor and report your progress and make recommendations to you and your physician as needed. For more information about how to get started with palliative care, visit our page for patients and families.
Palliative Care and Hospice
Cascade Health Palliative Care is not hospice care. Palliative care focuses on improving quality of life for the long-term, whereas hospice care is intended for the end of life and neither hastens death nor prolongs life. Palliative care is appropriate for anyone with a serious illness—you do not need to have a terminal disease to use and benefit from it.
Cascade Health Palliative Care can assist in managing your symptoms and improve your level of comfort—regardless of your disease, stage, prognosis, age or where you receive health care services.
Cascade Health Palliative Care is most beneficial when started early, does not take the place of other medical care you receive and may help you live longer by stabilizing your condition, managing your care and catching new issues earlier. It does not replace curative care, and you may continue life-prolonging interventions—like chemotherapy for cancer—while taking advantage of palliative care services.
Cascade Health Palliative Care can help you:
- Identify and make recommendations for controlling symptoms such as pain, depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, anxiety, spiritual distress or social withdrawal.
- Better understand your illness and the different treatment and management options available to you.
- Be intentional about your care and ensure that your preferences and beliefs are respected as your condition changes over time.
- Help you match your treatment choices to your goals and ensure your doctors know and understand your goals of care.
- Understand, discuss, navigate and document advanced care planning, health care proxy and end-of-life care preferences.
- Communicate with your family or caregivers about your disease, goals or decisions.
Cascade Health Palliative Care works with you and your family. It can be difficult to watch a loved one suffer or to care for someone whose symptoms seriously decrease their quality of life. Palliative care helps reduce the anxiety families experience when symptoms are poorly controlled or a loved one’s wishes are unknown. A palliative care plan can also include services to help families communicate and plan for different contingencies and respite care.
Trustworthy Palliative Care in Eugene, Oregon
Cascade Health is a local, nonprofit health care provider that has been serving the unmet health needs of our community for more than 50 years. We began offering palliative care in Eugene, Oregon in response to comments we received from families in our hospice program, who told us they wished they had been able to access the health education, pain management, symptom relief and emotional support we provide earlier in their loved ones’ illness.
We developed Cascade Health Palliative Care to meet this need, offering comfort care to people with serious illnesses who do not meet the criteria for hospice. Palliative care can help you enjoy a higher quality of life now, and together with our hospice and home health services, give you and your family continuous access to holistic, compassionate care and support as your needs change over time.
To learn more about how Cascade Health Palliative Care can help improve quality of life for you or your loved one, please contact us at (541) 228-3050 or firstname.lastname@example.org and review some of the frequently asked questions below.
1. What is palliative care?
Palliative (pronounced `PAL-ee-yuh-tiv) care is sometimes called “comfort care.” It focuses on relieving symptoms and stress associated with a serious illness. Palliative care includes pain management strategies with or without medication that improve your comfort level and quality of life. Palliative care is managed by medical professionals working in collaboration with you, your other doctors and your family to create a plan and care team focused on your unique needs.
2. What is a serious illness?
A serious illness is defined as “a health condition that carries a high risk of mortality and either negatively impacts a person’s daily function or quality of life or excessively strains the caregiver.” A serious illness can be chronic or acute, and you may access palliative care for both types. Remember, you do not have to have a terminal prognosis of less than six months, as required for hospice care, to benefit from Cascade Health Palliative Care. Examples of serious illnesses include cancer, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, COVID-19 and more.
3. How do I know if I need Cascade Health Palliative Care?
If you have a serious illness, there are many reasons you may wish to start Cascade Health Palliative Care. Primarily, it can help relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. It can also provide a sense of empowerment by ensuring you understand your illness and options, and can lend support to caregivers. If you are unsure if palliative care is right for you, call us at (541) 228-3050 or email email@example.com for a no-obligation consultation with a Cascade Health Palliative Care specialist.
4. Do I have to stop treatment to receive palliative care?
No. Cascade Health Palliative Care can be used along with curative treatments, improving the quality of your life while you work to prolong it.
5. Do I have to stop seeing my doctor?
No. Your Cascade Health Palliative Care team is made of specialists who work with your other doctors. We do not take over your primary care, but instead provide an extra layer of support to you and your family and serve in a consultative role to your existing physicians.
6. Is palliative care the same as hospice?
No. Cascade Health Palliative Care is intended to relieve the symptoms and stress of serious illness. It is not end-of-life care and does not require a six-month prognosis.
7. What does palliative care do?
To improve your quality of life, Cascade Health Palliative Care may include any number of services. Based on your specific needs, your team can help you:
- Make recommendations to your primary providers to better control pain and other symptoms that may be negatively impacting your enjoyment of life.
- Understand your condition and treatment options.
- Clarify your own goals and preferences for your care.
- Support your emotional and spiritual wellness.
- Develop an advanced care plan and clarify end-of-life preferences.
- Improve communication between you, your family and your doctors.
- Support your family and caregivers.
8. What kinds of symptoms can palliative care relieve?
Cascade Health Palliative Care can help improve many physical and emotional symptoms of serious illness. Some of these include:
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Eating problems.
- Sleeping issues.
9. Can I receive palliative care at home?
Cascade Health Palliative Care is typically provided in your place of residence, whether it be at home, with family, in a retirement community or other facility. You can continue accessing Cascade Health Palliative Care while receiving acute treatment in a hospital, rehabilitation facility or other specialized clinic.
10. How much does palliative care cost?
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans cover the costs of Cascade Health Palliative Care, though you may be responsibly for copays for provider visits.
11. When should I ask for Cascade Health Palliative Care?
We recommend starting Cascade Health Palliative Care early to gain the most from it. You can get palliative care at any age, any stage in your illness and for conditions that are chronic or acute.
12. How do I get Cascade Health Palliative Care?
13. Why should I use Cascade Health for palliative care?
Cascade Health is the only locally-founded nonprofit health care organization in Lane County offering a continuum of home-based care that brings physical, emotional and spiritual comfort to our neighbors. We have been serving the community that created us for more than 50 years, employing and collaborating with some of the most talented professionals in our county to develop programs that have become the gold standard for home health, palliative care and hospice services. Most importantly, our providers are compassionate, qualified professionals who are passionate about working one-on-one with you and your family. We invite you to contact us at (541) 228-3050 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we might be able to help you reach your health and quality of life goals.