How Long Can You Have Palliative Care In Nursing Homes?

The time people spend in palliative care in nursing homes varies depending on the scope of their illness or disease. It is also affected by the treatment plan or course of action their doctors have decided to follow. Some patients stay in palliative care for just a few months while others may need to stay for a year or longer.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at palliative care in nursing homes including what’s involved.

Nurse holding patients hand and providing palliative care at Fairview Rehab & Nursing Home

What is included in palliative care?

Palliative care in nursing homes provides care for any individual who is facing a life-limiting condition. It is an interdisciplinary approach with a focus on providing comfort and relief. This can be from pain, stress (both mental and physical), and the symptoms of a disease.

Pain management

Pain management is one of the primary things that palliative care in nursing homes addresses. Patients should be made to feel as comfortable as possible to give their bodies the best chance of fighting off the disease or illness they are facing. For that reason, pain relief is maximized in palliative care.

Medication management

Working directly with patients means that the nursing staff is the first port of call when it comes to medication management. After discussion with a palliative care doctor, the patient’s medication may need to be adjusted if the patient’s symptoms are not being controlled as expected

Patient medication schedules are changed as needed to keep the patient feeling their best. Nurses and doctors communicate with each other and patients to minimize any discomfort.

Comfort and religious services

Because palliative care in nursing homes is provided to people facing a life-limiting disease or illness, comfort and emotional support are very important.

Besides the comfort patients get from family visits, skilled and compassionate nursing staff always have time to listen to patients, have a chat, or just generally engage. Human contact and connection help patients more than you might imagine.

Religious services for people of all faiths and creeds are also provided to help patients feel at ease.

Do insurance plans cover palliative care in nursing homes?

Yes, most private insurance plans cover palliative care. Medicare (generally for people over 65) will also cover palliative care.

Fairview Rehab & Nursing Home in Queens, NY, will do their best to help you figure out the health insurance process. We also accept many insurance policies including Medicare, Medicaid, and multiple private insurers.

Does palliative care mean death?

Not at all. Palliative care is often misunderstood as end-of-life hospice care. It’s helpful to remember that hospice care is always palliative, but palliative care is not always hospice care.

Some patients will leave palliative care after they are doing better. For others, palliative care may mean the end of their journey. However, the palliative care staff help make this as comfortable as possible.

Are you or someone you love facing a life-limiting disease or condition? Do you have questions about palliative care in nursing homes? If so, please reach out to us at Fairview to find out how we can help you.