Dr. Steven Pantilat, expert in palliative care, helps caregivers and families understand their treatment options and make a compassionate end-of-life-plan for a loved one.
He’s trained teams from over 200 hospitals across the U.S. on how to establish palliative care centers.
WHAT IS PALLIATIVE CARE
- Delivered by a team: nurses, social workers and spiritual counselors
- Care that’s focused on improving quality of life for people with serious illness
- Helping people live well for as long as possible
- Extra layer of support during treatment
- Addresses whole person: psychological, physical and spiritual
- Can be focused on being free from pain, making good decisions about care, logistical care, spiritual needs
All hospice is a type of palliative care. Not all palliative care is hospice.
When you hear, “I’m sorry,” from your doctor, start talking about palliative care.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH DOCTORS
- Don’t be embarrassed
- Your doctor or team should speak in simple language
- Ask what information or terms mean
- Treatment can add up
- Knowing treatment options and effects in advance
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR PAIN
- Be your own advocate
- Draw a grid, time of day and how much pain you have daily
- It can help doctors manage your pain
HOW TO COMMUNICATE HEALTH NEWS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
- Talk directly to family
- Share the news
- Trust that friends and family who love you want to know and help
- Very young children: need to know things are okay
- Kids take language literally. Be thoughtful about what you say, so that you don’t worry them
- Early on, tell child or grandchild: You are sick and the doctors are trying to help
- Talking with children over 13: Be direct and compassionate. They can understand.
- Visiting a family member: Take the child’s lead. If they ask to visit, let them visit. Take a photo with smartphone, so child isn’t shocked or surprised. Have a signal in place so that the child can let you know when they are ready to leave.
Learn more at https://www.stevepantilat.com/
Check if your local hospital delivers palliative care https://getpalliativecare.org/
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