Live your life despite illness
The Doctors - | 11/19/2010, 6 a.m.
You hear "palliative care" and you think "end of the road," but it's actually far from it. When you're diagnosed with a serious illness, you seek relief -- from pain and from stress. You seek information -- about your condition and treatment. And you seek ways to keep living your life -- for yourself and your loved ones.
That's what palliative care is: It's a service that coordinates a team of specialists and your primary doctor, and the goal is improving your quality of life.
Palliative care is available at any time during your illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatments. It works to meet individual needs -- from pain management and anxiety to spiritual and psychological needs.
If you're interested in palliative care, ask your doctor for a referral. Most insurance plans will cover all or part of the palliative care treatment received in a hospital; you also can receive palliative care at home.