End of Life Care

End of life care can be a very emotional rollercoaster, for all those involved. Saying goodbye to a loved one can often be a very difficult road, especially when dealing with a terminal illness. Within our community in Schenectady, there are many end of life care resources worth looking into.  One of the biggest centers that specialize in palliative care is Saint Peters Health Partners, located in Albany, New York. Palliative care is something I didn’t know about before entering our unit on terminal illnesses and I think many other people also don’t know about these options as well. Palliative care is specialized medical care for those dealing with a serious, terminal illness.

In treatment, a patients healthcare team focuses on the following:

  • How to understand a person’s illness
  • How to assist family members and loved ones during such a difficult time
  • How to reduce stress and anxiety surrounding their diagnosis
  • How to manage pain and other uncomfortable symptoms

This type of treatment provides relief for many sufferers and gives them the hope they need to keep going. Below is a link to a video about palliative care and how it directly affects patients and their families, located on the Saint Peters Health Partners page. Neil Brown talks about his struggles with terminal illness and the positive effects palliative care has given him.

I found this video incredibly moving and it really shocked me how little was known about palliative care. Even Neil was close to giving up until he found out about this alternate method of care. I think it is incredibly important to spread information and awareness about these serious topics. This allows the people in need to not feel hopeless and know they have options even if it feels like they’re trapped by their diagnosis.

Saint Peters Health Partners has both inpatient and outpatient care plans, with specialized cancer and cardiac services.  For those who are concerned about money or don’t have insurance, Saint Peters Health Partners has this covered as well. AIM (Advanced Illness Management) provides support for families and patients struggling to afford medical insurance to cover the cost of home-based palliative care. The program includes a full time registered nurse and social worker with a combination of in home visits and phone calls with the goal of improving end of life care for those who cannot afford the proper treatment.

The photo above shows a doctor explaining to loved ones a planned care outline for their loved one struggling with a critical illness. Source: https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Help-for-the-suffering-2210709.php

While palliative care is a great treatment option for some patients, hospice care is also available for those who would prefer it. The Community Hospice of Schenectady is an end of life care facility for those with 6 months or less to live. Their goal is to keep patients as comfortable as possible during their final time. Other hospice care options outside of Schenectady include The Community Hospice Inn and The Community Hospice of Amsterdam. Overall Schenectady and the surrounding area try to provide the best level of care in such unfortunate situations.