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Palliative care is a layer of support that provides patient-centered care to those with life-limiting illnesses. The goal is to improve the quality of life of patients through comprehensive assessment and treatment of pain and other symptoms. This program is based on the Age-Friendly Health System framework and aligns with “what matters” to the older adult and their family caregivers.
This program is available to help you and your family with complicated healthcare decisions, reduce physical symptoms and provide support. Palliative care is effective at any point in an illness and may be provided at the same time as curative treatment.
There are four areas of focus for the Age-Friendly Health System known as the “4 M’s” - What Matters, Medication, Mentation and Mobility. Here is a brief description of each: What Matters is about knowing and aligning care with specific health goals and care preferences. Medication focuses on what medications are necessary and ensuring the medications do not interfere with “what matters” to the patient across the settings of care.
Mentation focuses on prevention, identification, treatment and management of dementia, depression, delirium and other conditions across the settings of care. Mobility helps to ensure that older adults move safely every day in order to maintain function and do “what matters.”
Our highly-trained palliative care team includes a palliative care physician, an advanced practice nurse practitioner, a palliative care trained social worker and a registered nurse. Additionally, a 24/7 on-call team of nurses is available to answer non-emergency questions at all times.
Palliative care services are offered alongside aggressive, life-prolonging measures. The focus of care is on the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of patients and families. Hospice is focused on comfort care and provides a more comprehensive umbrella of services through insurance once life-prolonging treatments are no longer part of the plan of care.
Palliative care improves coordination of services and promotes a closer monitoring of patients’ illness progression and goals of care, leading to an increase in patient and family satisfaction. Often there is a reduction in unnecessary hospitalizations, medical tests, procedures and medications due to increased communication and education.
Palliative care consultations made by the physician and nurse practitioner are generally paid through Medicare and private insurance. The Menorah Park Foundation will be seeking donor support for supportive services such as social work and nursing visits, which enhance our offerings but are not covered by the payers.
Palliative care improves symptom control and enhances quality of life for patients and their families dealing with advanced illness. The palliative care program improves education related to health care choices for patients and families and advocates effectively for patient comfort, dignity and choice.
Palliative care expands the quality and spectrum of services for patients and families who are not qualified or ready for hospice care. Palliative care supports the patient’s and family’s goals, including their hopes for cure or prolonging life, as well as their hopes for peace and dignity throughout the course of the illness.
There are two main segments of the Palliative Care program. The first is the Palliative Care Consultation program. These consultations are provided by the physician and/or nurse practitioner and are conducted in nursing homes and post-hospital rehabilitation centers on the Menorah Park campus with locations in Beachwood and Chagrin Falls.
The second segment of the program is focused on residents living in assisted living facilities, independent living facilities, or at home in the community. This program – called ‘Aging in Place with Advanced Illness’ – brings the support of the entire palliative care team to wherever you call home.
The process can begin with your primary physician suggesting that a palliative care consult would be helpful or you or a loved one requesting the services of the palliative care consult team. A member of the palliative care team will then contact you to determine the primary goals of the consult and set up an appointment.
The palliative care team would then talk to your primary physician, review the medical records and perform a physical examination to get a clear picture of the patient’s medical history and current status. The palliative care team would then meet with the individual and family members to thoroughly review their concerns and needs.
Recommendations are shared with the patient, family and primary physician. Additional consults are scheduled as needed to meet goals and assist with new issues as they arise.
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"Much of what you see happening at Menorah Park would not be possible without donor support. Charlotte’s Tai Chi class at the R.H. Myers Apartments wouldn’t happen. Andrew would be in his room without his specialized power wheelchair. Rita would have to be in the nursing home without the activities..."
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