For Patients & Families

PALLIATIVE CARE ACCESS FOR PATIENTS & FAMILIES

Customized Comfort and Support for Families Coping with Serious Illness
You are unique—and how you experience your illness is, too. Many people may share your diagnosis, but your family, beliefs, living situation, culture, preferences, goals, fears and hopes come together in a one-of-a-kind way to make your situation special.

The Cascade Health Palliative Care team recognizes your individuality, and we work collaboratively with you and your other health care providers to make sure your care plan reflects your goals. We help you fully understand your treatment options, answer your questions and help you determine what is most important to you. We give you the information you need to make informed decisions and then we build and manage a plan to meet your physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Cascade Health Palliative Care can be accessed at any stage in your illness and provides an added layer of support to complement the care you receive from your primary care physician and specialists. The goal is to improve your quality of life, and research has shown that patients experience the most benefit from starting palliative care early.

Palliative Care Referrals and Other Access Options
If you think Cascade Health Palliative Care would benefit you, you may either talk to the doctor who primarily manages your serious illness or contact us directly at (541) 228-3050 or pc@cascadehealth.org. We can answer any questions or concerns you might have, and coordinate with your physician if your insurance requires a referral.

Palliative care tends to have the most positive impact when started early, but if after talking to us, you decide it isn’t right for you at this time, remember that you can always start later. If your illness progresses or you start experiencing increased symptoms or stress, you are welcome to contact us again down the road.

What to Expect at Your Palliative Care Consultation
Whether you were referred to Cascade Health by one of your existing health care providers, a family member or you self-referred, your care begins with a Cascade Health Palliative Care consultation. Your consultation will take place where it’s most convenient for you—a hospital, clinic, rehabilitation facility or, for most, in your home.

You will initially meet with a Cascade Health Palliative Care specialist who will talk to you about your symptoms, current treatments, living circumstances, goals, and other topics to identify the kinds of services that could improve your quality of life. This will be a back-and-forth conversation. They will ask you questions, make recommendations and listen to your feedback to ensure that your concerns are answered and your preferences respected as you build a plan together. They will take the time necessary and schedule a follow-up appointment(s) if needed. Your Cascade Health Palliative Care specialist will never rush or pressure you.

Managing Your Palliative Care Plan
The plan you develop with your Cascade Health Palliative Care specialist will be carried out by your team at Cascade Health Palliative Care in coordination with your other health care providers, you, your family and anyone else involved in your care. Your plan is likely to change over time to ensure that it continues to serve your needs, and it may include:

● Symptom management to improve your comfort, including thorough pain management.
● Emotional and spiritual support for you and your family.
● Education and advice for advanced care planning to ensure your wishes are respected.
● Assistance and advocacy navigating the health care system.
● Recommendations for referrals to specialists or complementary care providers to address new or persistent issues, or to prevent injury or deterioration.
● Education about your disease process and help understanding treatment options.
● Relaxation and self-care techniques to improve management of your condition.
● Training and respite referrals for family and caregivers.

How to Prepare for Your Palliative Care Consultation
Preparing ahead for your consultation can help you get the most out of your time with the Cascade Health Palliative Care specialist. Please prepare by:

  1. Making a list of your current symptoms, whether they impact your ability to enjoy life or take part in daily activities and anything that makes them better or worse.
  2. Making a list of your current medications, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements.
  3. Bringing a family member or friend to help take notes.
  4. Gathering any advance directives, trusts or living wills of which your health care team should be aware.

Contact Us for More Palliative Care Guidance
Although palliative care is extremely beneficial, many people have never heard of palliative care, or have misconceptions about it. If you think it might benefit you but are hesitant for any reason, please call us at (541) 228-3050 or email us at pc@cascadehealth.org. As a nonprofit organization, our mission is to meet the unmet health needs of our community. You will never experience a “hard sell” from us. We are here to answer your questions and empower you to make your own decisions about your care.

Call (541) 228-3050 or email pc@cascadehealth.org to reach a member of the Cascade Health Palliative Care team today.