Palliative Care
Frequently Asked Questions

Dealing with a serious illness can be overwhelming. You may have questions about how Palliative Care can help. Below are the answers to Palliative Care frequently asked questions. If you have more questions, our care navigators can help.

Palliative Care Frequently Asked Questions

What is Palliative Care?

In short, Palliative Care focuses on improving the quality of life. Our Palliative Care service offers medical care, emotional and social support, and education for people with serious illness and their families.

What can I expect during a Palliative Care visit?
Initial Consultation
  • A Gilchrist clinician will visit you to discuss your illness.
  • They will conduct a physical exam. In addition, they will take time to fully understand your symptoms. They will ask how medications and other treatments are working. Moreover, they will ask how you are coping.
  • They will ask about your goals for care. In addition, they will ask what’s preventing you from meeting those goals.
  • Based on the first visit, the Gilchrist team will recommend ways to improve your comfort. In addition, they will suggest ways to relieve your stress.
  • Then, the team will share findings with your health care provider. As a result, you and your doctor can consider changes that may help you meet your goals.
  • If needed, the Gilchrist team may provide follow-up visits.
How does Palliative Care differ from Hospice Care?

Palliative Care focuses on comfort, quality of life and wishes for care. Similarly, hospice shares these goals. However, Palliative Care may be provided at any point in the illness from diagnosis onward. In addition, it can be combined with curative treatments, whereas hospice generally can not.

Who can receive Palliative Care?

Anyone with serious or chronic illness can benefit from Palliative Care. For example, this service can be especially helpful for those with advanced cancer. Patients can receive services at select locations. Overall, patients come through an inpatient referral at GBMC or Howard County General Hospital. In addition, they may be referred from the GBMC Cancer Center. Moreover, Palliative Care services are available upon request to those who reside at a skilled nursing facility or who are receiving rehabilitation.

What are the benefits of Palliative Care?

Above all, Palliative Care can help improve your quality of life. To that end, it centers on relieving pain and other symptoms. Secondly, it helps you understand the likely course of illness and your treatment options. In addition, Gilchrist Palliative Care supports family members. In particular, caregivers may be overwhelmed by their loved one’s illness and by the complex healthcare system.

How is Palliative Care paid for?

Medicare, Medicaid and most insurers offer coverage for the Palliative Care consultation. Funds are available through Gilchrist to cover individuals who qualify based on financial need.

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Not Sure Which Service is Right for You?

Our care navigators can answer your questions and connect you with the right Gilchrist service.