Serious Illness Care
Anyone diagnosed with a serious illness may be eligible for Serious Illness Care. As part of the medical specialty of Palliative Medicine, serious illness care is specialized medical care that provides relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their family.
Serious illness care is provided by a team of specialists, including physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided in conjunction with curative treatment.
Those coping with a chronic and/or serious illness may benefit from the added layer of care and support that our serious illness care program provides. Examples:
- COPD or other respiratory diseases
- Heart failure/heart disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Kidney failure
Our serious illness care team of specialists includes physicians, nurse practitioners, and social workers. Together with your own doctor, we make sure that you receive:
- Relief from symptoms including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, numbness, problems with sleep, & much more.
- In-depth communication with you and your family about your goals, your concerns, and your treatment options—and how to match your goals to those options.
- Coordination of your care among all of your health care providers.
- Improved ability to tolerate medical treatments and the side effects of the disease.
- Improved ability to carry on with daily life.
- Emotional, practical, and spiritual support for you and your family
What else should you know?
- Serious illness care is not hospice care by another name!
While our serious illness care program is a division of Hospice of Rockingham County, serious illness care and hospice care are two different specialties. Unfortunately, palliative care and hospice have been used interchangeably in the medical community for years and thus, they are synonymous for many; we are trying to avoid confusion by referring to our program as Serious Illness Care. Both programs, however, focus on patient comfort, quality of life, and support for patient and family. Click here for a comparison of Serious Illness Care and Hospice Care.
- Begin Serious Illness Care Early
Serious illness care can occur at the same time as all other treatments for your illness. There’s absolutely no reason to wait. In fact, some studies have shown that serious illness care may extend life. Pain and symptoms affect your quality of life and stress can have a big impact on your family. Our serious illness care team can help.
- We Now Have A Serious Illness Clinic
Our nurse practitioners will make their initial visit in your home and subsequent visits will be conducted in our new serious illness care clinic, conveniently located at 107 W. Stadium Drive in Eden, NC
- Your insurance will likely cover serious illness care
Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover serious illness (palliative) care. It is handled like other specialty medical services, such as oncology or cardiology.
- Serious illness care is easy to access – just ask for it!
You may already have been referred to the serious illness care team, but if not, talk with your doctor about a referral – or call us and we’ll reach out to your primary provider to begin the referral process. We work together with your primary doctor and health care team.
To learn more about our Serious Illness Care, please call us at (336) 635-9031.
Meet your Serious Illness Care Team:
Stephanie Lowe, LPN
Serious Illness Care Liaison
Rhonda Lucas, MSN, AGNP-C, GS-C
Serious Illness Care Team Leader