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In Long Term Care

Living at Home

We know many people want to stay in their own homes where they are relaxed. However, sometimes the challenging symptoms that can be part of living with a serious illness require a visit to the emergency department or admission to the hospital. This can be stressful for both you and your loved ones.

Being able to ease these symptoms and provide this support in the community is important for our patients. Studies have proven that  palliative care earlier in patient’s diagnosis improves their quality of life, reduces unwanted visits to the emergency department, admissions to the hospital and the amount of time spend in hospital. Palliative care can also help make sure that the treatment you receive is aligned with what your overall goals for care are and what your preferences may be. Studies have also shown that including palliative care early can help patients live longer lives.

In palliative care, we say we improve your quality of life, but what we really mean is that we help get you back to doing the things that bring meaning and joy to your daily life. Our goal is to help you live life the way you want by understanding what matters to you.

Palliative Care in Atlantic Health System Hospitals

  • Morristown Medical Center
  • Overlook Medical Center
  • Chilton Medical Center
  • Newton Medical Center
  • Hackettstown Medical Center
  • Pediatric Palliative Care at Morristown Medical Center
  • Pediatric Palliative Care at Overlook Medical Center

Can palliative care help you and your loved ones?

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AHS - Primary Care

Primary Care

As a primary care provider you already follow many of the core principles of palliative care.  Specialized community-based palliative care practices are key to providing that additional layer of support with complex cases and challenging symptom management.

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Specialist Care

While caring for patients who are living with serious illness, many complex physical and psychosocial, symptoms may need to be addressed.  Palliative care is there working with you to maximize the quality of life for your patients and their loved ones through the entire trajectory of their illness.

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Advance Care Planning

Asking patients what matters to them through the end of their life starts an important conversation about their values and preferences. If a serious illness or injury occurs, this communication helps your health care team provide treatment that respects the individual’s wishes.

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How do I know if palliative care is right for me?2021-10-20T21:19:10-04:00

Palliative care may be right for you if you have a serious illness. Serious illnesses include but are not limited to: cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and many more. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness. You can also have this type of care at the same time as you have other treatments for your condition.

If you’re not sure, take the quiz.

What does the palliative care team do?2021-10-20T21:19:50-04:00

Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. It is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. The goal is to improve your quality of life.

To do this, the palliative care team will:

  • Relieve your symptoms and distress
  • Help you better understand your disease and diagnosis
  • Help clarify your treatment goals and options
  • Understand and support your ability to cope with your illness
  • Assist you with making medical decision
  • Coordinate with your other doctors
What can I expect from palliative care?2021-10-20T21:20:09-04:00

In short, you can expect that your quality of life will be improved. You will have relief from symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. You can also expect close communication and more control over your care. Palliative care will help you carry on with daily life. It will improve your ability to go through medical treatments. And it will help you to match your goals to your treatment choices.

Will my insurance cover palliative care?2021-10-20T21:20:26-04:00

Most insurance plans cover all or part of palliative care, just as with other hospital and medical services. This is also true of Medicare and Medicaid. If costs concern you, a social worker or financial consultant from the palliative care team can help you with payment options.

Do I have to give up my own doctor?2021-10-20T21:20:47-04:00

No. The palliative care team provides an extra layer of support and works in partnership with your primary doctor.

Can I have curative treatment together with palliative care?2021-10-20T21:21:10-04:00

Yes, absolutely. Your treatment choices are up to you. You can have palliative care at the same time as treatment meant to cure you.

Who else, besides the patient, can benefit?2021-10-20T21:22:17-04:00

Everyone involved! Patients as well as family caregivers are the special focus of palliative care. Your doctors and nurses benefit too, because they know they are meeting your needs by providing care and treatment that reduces your suffering and improves your quality of life.

Where do I get palliative care?2021-10-20T21:22:44-04:00

Palliative care is available in a number of places. More and more, palliative care is available outside of the hospital in the places where you live. You, your doctor and the palliative care team can discuss outpatient palliative care or palliative care at home. Some hospitals also offer outpatient palliative care even if you have not been in the hospital. Check with your doctor. These include hospitals, outpatient clinics and at home.

Who provides palliative care?2021-10-20T21:23:08-04:00

A team of specialists, including palliative care doctors and nurses provide this type of care.

How does palliative care help me choose the best treatment option?2021-10-20T21:23:29-04:00

The palliative care team will also spend time talking and listening to you and your family. They will make sure you completely understand all of your treatment options and choices. By deeply exploring your personal goals, the palliative care team will help you match those goals to the options. They will also make sure that all of your doctors are coordinated and know and understand what you want. This gives you more control over your care.

When should I ask for palliative care?2021-10-20T21:26:05-04:00

You can have it at any age and any stage of an illness, but early in your illness is recommended.

Recent cancer guidelines say that cancer patients should receive palliative care early and together with their other treatments. People who are newly diagnosed with advanced cancer should receive a palliative care consult within eight weeks of their diagnosis. Read the guidelines > 

How do I get palliative care?2021-10-20T21:26:26-04:00

Ask for it! You have to start by talking with your doctor or nurse.

If You’re Admitted

Our interdisciplinary team provides an additional layer of specialized medical support for you by attending to the complex and challenging symptoms you may be experiencing while you are admitted.

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Living at Home

Palliative care can help you manage your serious illness while living at home.  We do this while honoring you as a person beyond your serious illness.

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In Long-Term Care

If you or a loved one is living in long term care, palliative care at that location can provide an additional layer of support along with the other health care providers.

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