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How and Where To Get Palliative Care

Typically, palliative care is provided by a team of professionals that may include physicians, advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and dietitians. The professionals that make up the team depend on the needs of the patient and their family.

The first step to getting palliative care is to talk to your doctor. Explain to your doctor what quality of life means for you, or for your loved one, and discuss what treatments and procedures are ahead. Your doctor may need to make a referral to palliative care. Keep in mind that receiving palliative care does not interrupt your relationship with your primary physician but rather enhances the effectiveness of the care you receive.

Where is Palliative Care Provided?

Palliative care may be provided in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, out-patient clinics, and in your own home. For some individuals, it may be switching from one setting to another that contributes to confusion and poor communication. With palliative care in place, there is increased likelihood of enhanced communication resulting in the development of the most effective treatment plan.

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