Patients living in the advanced stages of illness no longer need to be burdened with poorly controlled symptoms and unnecessary trips to the hospital. New Directions specializes in palliative consultative services to assist with symptom management and coordinate interdisciplinary care, including physical and occupational therapy. Evaluations provided by the Nurse Practitioner focus on a “patient-centered” approach. The patients’ preferences and values are always first when discussing goals of care. Complex decision-making is guided by compassionate, trained professionals, always considering the patients’ personal preferences. New Directions’ palliative consultative services focus on assisting patients to live well for as long as possible.
Palliative care is appropriate for people of any age and at any stage of an illness and is often delivered along with continued curative and life-prolonging treatment. Patients may continue with all types of treatments and therapies while receiving palliative care in the place they call home. At AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home professionals work closely with patients, families, and other medical professionals to customize a plan of care that is tailored to meet the patient’s unique needs. Goals are developed to address the patient’s specific symptoms and stresses related to serious illness. The AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home team continues to support patients and families throughout the continuum of illness by addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. Patients who have experienced one or more of the following may be a candidate for this additional support from the AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home team of experts:
- Need frequent provider contact (patients or caregivers)
- Have a chronic, serious illness
- Are actively seeking aggressive therapy or treatment for their serious illness
- Require education and assistance with disease and symptom management
- Have frequent emergency room visits and/or hospitalizations
- Have difficulty managing side effects
- Exhibit a decline in health status
- Are having difficulty caring for oneself
Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care
Patients facing severe illness have a variety of programs that they can utilize from AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home based upon their stage of illness. When developing a care plan, patients and caregivers may be faced with choosing between palliative care and hospice care. Both programs provide necessary and valuable support to patients and caregivers but understanding the difference can be challenging.
AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home provides palliative care through our Supportive Care program and hospice care through our Hospice Care Services. AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home assists patients and caregivers in understanding the qualifications and goals of each program.
Is hospice care or palliative care more appropriate for me or my loved one?
Medical Licensed Social Workers are available to help patients and caregivers discuss options and make the best decision that honors the patient’s wishes and quality of life.
Patients who are actively seeking aggressive therapy or treatment for their serious illness, or who need education and assistance with disease and symptom management, may choose to receive home-based palliative care.
The Supportive Care Team utilizes palliative tools and works closely with patients, families, and other medical professionals to customize a plan of care that addresses the patient’s specific symptoms and stressors. The AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home team supports patients and families throughout the continuum of illness by addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. The consistent, compassionate care they provide earns them the trust of patient and the caregivers.
Patients with life-limiting illnesses who choose not to pursue curative treatments may decide that hospice is the most appropriate program.
AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home’s in-home hospice team will assist with symptom and pain management, while the patient and loved ones spend time together in a comfortable and familiar environment. Individualized care plans include the need for relevant medical equipment, supplies, therapies, and medications as ordered by the physician.
Whether patients choose palliative care or hospice care, the AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home teams treat patients and caregivers like their own families, providing care and support in the patients’ homes.
For those patients receiving palliative care who need additional clinical support to manage symptoms, the AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home Visiting Nurse Practitioner can assist inpatient care.
The Visiting Nurse Practitioner acts as an additional member of the care team, and can assist patients with:
- Aggressive symptom management
- Medication recommendations and changes
- Adjustments to the plan of care
The Visiting Nurse Practitioner also assesses the patient and develops a rapport with patients and caregivers. Once he/she has been brought in to assist with a patient, the Visiting Nurse Practitioner remains a member of the care team, provides direct oversight for the patient, and coordinates with a multi-disciplinary team to manage patient care.
The Visiting Nurse Practitioner is also able to function in the role of the primary care physician, either until the patient is discharged from the palliative care program, or on a permanent basis – depending on the wishes of the patient.
The AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home Palliative Interdisciplinary team provides medical, emotional, physical, and spiritual support to patients and family members. The team meets with patients and family members through home visits and regular meetings to discuss the plan of care and revise as needed. The AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home team is also available 24/7 via telephone.
A Board-Certified Palliative Care Medical Director leads the AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home Palliative Interdisciplinary Team. Following are additional members of the team and their roles.
Medical Licensed Social Worker
Most patients will receive visits from a social worker who will assist in developing a plan of care tailored for each patient’s situation. Additionally, the social worker can assist in finding community resources and information for families and patients.
Some patients may receive visits from a Registered Nurse to address and manage any symptoms and to ensure that patient and family needs are met.
Some patients may qualify for a Palliative Consult from a nurse practitioner and ongoing visits for advanced medication or symptom management in the home and discussion of the disease process.
When needed, patients and families may receive care from a chaplain who can provide non-denominational spiritual support.
For Healthcare Professionals
AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home is ready to collaborate with healthcare professionals to offer patients exceptional care, support, and guidance. The AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home interdisciplinary team collaborates with healthcare teams to provide the most comprehensive, compassionate, and personalized care. AccentCare Southeastern Health Care at Home offers specialized Palliative Care programs and a Supportive Care program for our Home Health patients.
To refer a patient to palliative care, write an order for palliative care evaluation and treatment and fax along with most recent history and physical, insurance, and personal information