Understanding the Situation

If you or someone close to you has just received a diagnosis, or you have been living with a serious health issue for some time, it may be helpful to stop and think about the following:

  • Are there aspects about your (or your loved one’s) condition that you don’t understand? Does the medical team explain things in a way that you understand?
  • Do you understand how the illness will progress?
  • Do you trust your medical team? Do you feel seen, heard, and respected? If not, you can seek a new provider or a second opinion.
  • Are you aware of all the treatments that are available?
  • Do you know the risks, costs and possible side-effects associated with each of the treatment options?
  • As the person living with the serious illness, or as the loved one providing support, what else would be helpful?  Do you have enough support managing the illness? Do you feel able to navigate the treatment options? What is worrying you?
  • What are your goals? What would a successful result look like? Have you shared this with your doctor?

Make a List of Your Questions.

Some of your questions may be answered as you read information provided here. Others may require talking to your doctor at your next appointment. What is most important is getting the answers. You cannot make an informed decision, or make decisions that are in line with your wishes, if you don’t understand all the options and services that are available.

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Education/Resources

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Understanding the Situation

If you or someone close to you has just received a diagnosis, or you have been living with a serious health issue for some time, it may be helpful to stop and think about the following: Are there aspects about your (or your loved one’s) condition that you don’t understand? Does the medical team explain…

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What is Palliative Care?

Adults with serious illness often live with physical and emotional pain. Palliative care is specialized medical care that helps to manage patient symptoms and focuses on improving the quality of life for both the patient and their family. The palliative care team works with the individual’s current doctors to enhance patient care. Working with the…

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Choosing and Finding a Palliative Care Provider

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious illness, are having difficulty managing symptoms, or have had multiple hospitalizations or emergency room visits, palliative care may make your life and that of your family much easier.  If you are considering palliative care, the following questions that may help you identify a…

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What is Hospice Care?

When people hear the word “hospice” they think that death is imminent, doctors have given up and there is nothing left that can be done. On the contrary, hospice care can look very different. If started early, people with a life-limiting illness can live fully and comfortably with a coordinated healthcare approach that focuses on…

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How to Find a Hospice Provider?

Selecting a Hospice Provider Just like selecting any other medical care, if you or someone you care about needs the support of hospice, it is important to find a provider that is a good fit. Click here to learn more about hospice care. There may be a number of organizations that provide care in your…