Finding palliative care services could be as easy as your doctor referring you to the local unit or it may require some detective work on your part.
When Palliative Care is Mentioned
When someone is being treated for a terminal or chronic illness, there may be a point when the doctor or another member of the healthcare team mentions the possibility of applying for palliative care. If you haven’t spoken to anyone about palliative care or if you haven’t done any research on your own about end-of-life care, this is the time to start.
Ask your healthcare provider about the options for palliative care in your area. In some places, there is more than one option, which lets you check out the different services or programs. Get contact information from your doctor, ask if he or she is part of the palliative care team or somehow plays a role. Ask what is involved in the application process and what you can do now to ease the transition when the time comes.
If your doctor isn’t able to provide you with the information you need, try contacting local hospitals, healthcare agencies, or clinics. You can also use the Internet to research palliative care services in your particular area and you may be able to find contact information for support groups or for more information.