TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR
The first step is to talk to your own doctor. Most of the time, you have to ask your doctor for a palliative care referral to get CareBridge Primary and Palliative Care services. Whether you are in the hospital, facility or at home, a palliative care team can help you. Following are some tips to help you talk to your doctor:
- Tell your doctor you are considering CareBridge Primary and Palliative Care Services.
- Ask your doctor to explain your illness as well as your treatment options.
- Explain to your doctor what quality of life means to you. This list may include:
- Spending time with loved ones
- Having pain and other distressing symptoms aggressively treated
- Continuing to make your own decisions for care and your preferred location for treatments, whether in home or hospital
- Be sure your doctor is aware of any personal, religious, or cultural beliefs, values, or practices that are important to consider in your care and treatment decisions.
- Tell your doctor what curative treatments you may or may not want, such as resuscitation if your heart were to stop, being placed on a mechanical ventilator if your lungs were to fail, undergoing dialysis if your kidneys were to fail, or artificial nutrition by a feeding tube if you were unable to eat.
- If you have a living will or advanced directives, be sure to inform your doctor and provide him or her with a copy.
- If you are suffering with pain and other symptoms due to a serious illness, ask your doctor for a Carebridge palliative care referral.