The demands of his mother’s round-the-clock care plus his father’s increasing infirmity proved a heavier burden than he imagined. But the palliative care program Presbyterian Healthcare Services offers in a home setting to seriously ill patients helped reduce that stress.
“It made my quality of life so much better. You can’t put a value on that,” Almaraz said.
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It typically involves a team of doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists who help care for a patient and provide support for their family. It differs from hospice because it can be offered to anyone with a serious illness at any stage of treatment. Hospice is a benefit offered to terminally ill patients who have just a few months to live, said Nancy Guinn, Medical Director Presbyterian Healthcare at Home.
“We can offer (palliative) care long before they would qualify for hospice,” Guinn said.