Monthly Archives: October 2014

Finding the Right Palliative Care for You

Now that you have decided that palliative care is, in fact, the right course of treatment for you, you have to find a palliative care provider that meets your needs. Of course you can do the standard online search and choose a care provider from that list at random. Unfortunately, the chances of you ending up with a less-than-ideal palliative care team are high.

 

Alternatively, you can take control of the palliative care you choose by being prepared. This three step guide assembled by a trustworthy Las Vegas hospice service will help you to choose a palliative care resource that will serve you best.

 

Talk to Your Doctor

Before you do anything, you want to talk with your doctor about the benefits and disadvantages of palliative care. When you have this conversation, be sure to ask your doctor these points:

  • Have your doctor fully explain your condition. Ask if there are any treatments, clinical trials or experimental treatments that may help with the management of your symptoms.
  • Ask your doctor to provide you with a list of resources for palliative care.
  • Explain exactly what you are looking for when you consider palliative care. If your focus is comfort and maintenance, mention that. If your focus is to undergo aggressive curative treatments to prolong your life as much as possible, mention that.

Find a Service

The next step is to choose a palliative care service Las Vegas patients rely on.

 

The best way to go about choosing your palliative care team is to pool your resources. Hopefully, your doctor gave you a list of resources. That is a great place to start.

 

You also want to ask around. There is a good chance that a friend, a loved one or a community social worker knows of an exceptional palliative care service that your doctor may not be aware of.

 

It is also not a bad idea to conduct your own online search to read patient reviews. No one knows how a palliative care center treats its patients better than the patients.

 

Interview Your Selections

Once you have narrowed your list down to a few palliative care providers, be careful not to jump the gun. Take the time to interview your options to be sure that you really are choosing the palliative care teams that is congruent with your desires and expectations. Here are a few questions you can use to prepare yourself for those interviews:

  • Where will I be cared for?
  • Who is going to be a part of my care team? What will each of them do?
  • What happens if I experience severely distressing symptoms?
  • Do you offer any support for my family and other caregivers?
  • Will you keep working with my doctors?
  • Do you have any recommendations for the direction of my care?

At the end of the day, your best chance for ideal palliative care lies in the hospice care Las Vegas residents trust. Make ProCare Hospice of Nevada your first stop to learn about the hospice services and genuine care that are offered here. For more information about Las Vegas hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.

Is Palliative Care the Right Choice?

 

After learning about palliative care and cancer, you may be wondering if palliative care is really the right choice for you.

 

In truth, that question can only be answered after you speak with your primary care physician and the rest of your health care team. These professionals have been with you throughout your health care journey and are best equipped to explain the benefits and disadvantages of palliative care that are specific to you.

 

However, for a general understanding of palliative care and hospice in Las Vegas, this guide can serve as an introduction to the service.

 

Is Palliative Care The Right Fit?

Before you can decide if palliative care is the right fit for you, it is important to understand what the term truly means. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, palliative care is the “treatment of the discomfort, symptoms and stress of serious illness. It provides relief form distressing symptoms including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and problems with sleep.”

 

With that definition in mind, there are certain qualities that make you the perfect candidate for palliative care. These qualities include any of the following:

  • You have a cancer or serious illness that causes “distressing” symptoms;
  • You have a shortened life expectancy;
  • You have some other medical issue that complicates an already serious condition;
  • You have been considering Las Vegas hospice or palliative care for some time.

Because your life expectancy is shortened, your primary concern may be how much more time palliative care will give you to spend with your loved ones. Unfortunately, there is no way to say for certain when you are dealing with a life threatening illness.

 

However, you can rest assured that your palliative care team will be focused wholeheartedly on the ultimate comfort of you and your loved ones. Your palliative care doctor will do his or her best to give you as accurate an estimation as possible. Your palliative care team will then proceed to give you the care necessary to manage your symptoms for as long as you need.

 

Ask The Right Questions About Las Vegas Hospice

If you think palliative care may be a good fit for you, there are questions you need to ask yourself as well as your doctor.

 

You want to be sure to discuss the specifics about the palliative care with your doctor. Ask if there are benefits that only palliative care can provide. Ask if there is anything you can lose by choosing palliative care.

 

Perhaps most importantly, you want to ask yourself if you are ready to face the risks of any aggressive curative therapy that may be suggested. Ask what it is you are expecting to achieve out of this style of treatment. Discuss these answers with your doctors to know if palliative care really is a good fit for you.

 

Have all your questions answered by scheduling a consultation with a friendly Las Vegas hospice and palliative care center, ProCare Hospice of Nevada. For more information about the best palliative care Las Vegas offers, contact 702.380.8300.

A Brief Look At Palliative Care and Cancer

 

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Worldwide, cancer kills more than malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis combined according to the Centers for Disease Control.

 

That is because there are more than 100 different types of cancers. With so many people being affected with one form of cancer or another, it makes sense that a majority of the people who enter into Las Vegas hospice and palliative care are battling this devastating disease.

 

Cancer 101

Cancer is a condition that develops when the cells in the body reproduce excessively. This growth leads to a tumor. The tumor can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are essentially harmless and can be removed easily. Malignant tumors are what people call cancer and can be life-threatening.

 

The problem with malignant tumors is that the damaged cells can travel through the body and cause cancer to grow in areas that were previously healthy. This process is called metastasis.

 

Treatment

Because there are so many different types of cancer, treatment options vary widely. Available treatment options also depend on where the cancer is in a particular organ and how much it has metastasized, if at all.

 

Thankfully, there are many choices of treatment for cancer patients. If one doesn’t work, the doctor usually has a back up plan or two to try to kill the cancer cells.

 

This is why it is so important for patients to seek a second and third opinion when it comes to the diagnosis of their conditions. Experienced oncologists tend to specialize in one type of cancer or another. If yours does not specialize in the type of cancer you have, don’t be afraid to request another opinion.

 

Cancer in Palliative & Hospice Las Vegas Care

In the event that a cancer cannot be treated, palliative and hospice Las Vegas care becomes an option. This is when the doctor’s attention switches from curing the patient to making him or her as comfortable as possible.

 

Even before the cancer is deemed untreatable, palliative care is a great way to manage the symptoms and side effects of cancer. That is because the ultimate goal is to improve your quality of life. Palliative care was actually created solely for this reason.

 

Even though this is the case, it is wrong if you think that you are giving up by choosing a hospice Las Vegas center. Choosing hospice and palliative care means the best interests of you and your family are at the forefront of your mind.

 

If you are considering hospice care, choose the best in ProCare Hospice of Nevada. For more information about Las Vegas hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.

Facing Palliative Chemotherapy? Here’s What to Ask Your Oncologist

 

When you hear the term palliative chemotherapy, you might be slightly confused. Generally speaking, chemotherapy is a treatment option that is used to fight cancer and extend the patient’s life expectancy.

 

However, in a palliative and hospice Las Vegas care setting, chemotherapy is sometimes used as a way to prolong a patient’s life and reduce symptoms to make them feel more comfortable.

 

If your palliative care doctor decides that chemotherapy is going to be the best course of treatment for you, there are a few things you should ask. Here are a list of those questions and the reasons why you want to ask them from a trustworthy Las Vegas hospice team.

 

Will the treatment help reduce the size of my tumor?

You want to know how well your doctor thinks the treatment is going to do when it comes to reducing the size of your tumors. The number you want to ask for is the response rate. The response rate is just the number of people whose tumors respond to the treatment and get smaller.

 

This is important because, if the response rate isn’t high enough, the treatment may not be worth the side effects you are going to experience.

 

How long will I have to go through treatment before we start seeing some kind of results?

If you have a short amount of time to live, it is unlikely that you want to spend the rest of your days going through what can be an uncomfortable treatment. So, ask your Las Vegas hospice and palliative care doctor how many cycles they expect you to undergo in order to know if it is working.

 

In most cases, two cycles of chemotherapy is the norm. However, this completely depends on the type of cancer you’ve been diagnosed with and how advanced it has progressed.

 

What are the side effects I can expect to experience?

Naturally, you want to know what you are going to experience as a result of undergoing the treatment. It is possible for you to experience hair loss, moderate to severe nausea and weight loss. Your family is likely to experience quite the burden watching you suffer through these symptoms.

 

If these side effects seem too severe for you, discuss this with your Las Vegas hospice doctor before you agree to the treatment.

 

Will I live longer?

This may be the most important question you can ask your palliative care doctor. If your doctor believes chemotherapy is going to help you live significantly longer, then it may be worth whatever side effects you will experience. If your doctor believes your lifespan will only improve slightly – if at all – then you must decide if you would like to proceed or choose a treatment that will allow you to enjoy the rest of your time more comfortably.

 

Will my symptoms get better?

The answer to this question is just as important as the last. If your symptoms are not going to improve drastically, then chemotherapy may be a treatment option that is just too severe. However, if your tumor is expected to respond well to treatment, then you can anticipate at least a moderate improvement in your symptoms.

 

Of course, the only way to be sure of the success of your treatment is to discuss your concerns with the best Las Vegas hospice and palliative care doctors at ProCare Hospice of Nevada. For more information about Las Vegas hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.

Preparing For Your Palliative Care Meeting


Once you choose Las Vegas hospice and palliative care, there are a few more steps that need to be taken before your actual care begins. The most important of these steps is your meeting with your new palliative care team. Here, you can learn more about what you can expect from that meeting and how you can prepare for it.

 

Your Medical Team

Because Las Vegas hospice and palliative care is so comprehensive, your team may include physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists, dietitians and more. Naturally, you want to know who is going to be taking care of you and in what ways. So, head to your meeting armed with questions about what services will be available to you.

 

With all these different types of care being offered to you, there is probably a long list of questions running through your head. The best thing to do is write those questions down. When you head into your palliative and hospice Las Vegas meeting prepared with questions, the entire meeting will seem much less intimidating.

 

Here are a few of the topics you may want to think about discussing with your new palliative team:

  • How will my pain and symptoms be managed?
  • What can I expect from your care?
  • Which members of the team will be helping me? When?

 

Your palliative care team cannot offer you satisfying service if you are unsure of what your goals are. Therefore, before you head into your meeting, take some time to really pinpoint what it is that matters to you most in terms of your care.

 

Think about how your wishes for treatment and also how you want to be treated as the end draws nearer. Write them down. Just remember to stay realistic about your goals. You may be expecting some treatment or even a cure that just isn’t feasible. You may want to mentally prepare yourself for that reality check.

 

The more clearly and transparently you discuss your goals and fears with your palliative care team, the more they will be able to assist you through a time in your life that may already be riddled with fear.

 

With that being said, you can greatly help your new palliative care team by bringing as much information about your medical history with you as possible. This way, your team can better prepare a course of action for you moving forward.

 

Your Personal Team

It is a good idea to bring a close friend or family member with you to the meeting. On one hand, this support will help to keep you calm and focused in your meeting. Having a second pair of eyes and ears is also beneficial because he or she may be able to offer a different perspective to the meeting after the fact.

 

If possible, have your partner take notes during the meeting. This way, you will be able to focus more on what is being said and will be more likely to remember to ask all of your questions. You will also want a set of notes to help you remember what was said after the fact.

 

When you choose Las Vegas hospice services, you choose the best palliative care in Las Vegas. That is because Pro-Care Hospice of Nevada is committed to giving patients the best experience possible. For more information about the hospice Las Vegas trusts, contact 702.380.8300.

Palliative Care & Intimacy

While it may not seem like a primary concern, sexual intimacy is just as important to your overall health as a well functioning heart. It is vital that you maintain the close bond you have with your loved ones because that is such a major part of who you are. Intimacy should not take a back seat to your palliative care. So, take a moment to understand more fully about the barriers to intimacy and the ways  you can go about overcoming them with the help of the Las Vegas hospice care team you trust.

 

Before you can really understand the barriers to intimacy, the term needs to be defined. Intimacy can be considered as any kind of physical touch including general tenderness, caressing, massages and hand holding. Intimacy is not just limited to intercourse.

 

Barriers

 

There are many barriers that can get in the way of a palliative patient experiencing intimacy. Many of the most common barriers are related to feelings of fatigue and other physical symptoms such as nausea, constipation and pain. Even variations in mood like anxiety, depression, grief or guilt can wedge a barrier between a palliative patient and his or her significant other.

 

Overcome the Barriers

 

The number one method to overcome the barriers of intimacy is to communicate with your partner. Issues cannot be faced if they are not brought to light.

 

The next thing to do is to find time to be alone with your partner. That can be understandably difficult if you are in the later stage of an illness and receiving regular care and visitors. Still, it is imperative that you and your partner find a way to get a little privacy every now and then. You can request that no visitors be allowed to see you after a certain time to guarantee that you and your partner will have at least an hour or two alone at the end of a day.

 

In your private time, talk with your partner. Be transparent about what you are thinking and feeling about your physical needs, desires and wishes. Ask open ended questions and be warm and accepting of the answers, even if they are hard to hear. If you are a little stuck on the questions you can ask, here are a few examples you can start with:

 

  • What kind of intimacy is most important to you?
  • What kind of touch feels the best to you?
  • What are you most worried about when it comes to intimacy or sex?
  • How can one best fulfill your physical needs?

 

The next thing you can do is take your concerns to your hospice Las Vegas provider. Your doctor may be able to provide you with a different approach to your intimacy issues. The Las Vegas hospice services at ProCare Hospice of Nevada are committed to providing a well-rounded style of care that also includes intimacy concerns. For more information about Las Vegas hospice care, contact 702.380.8300.

Cancer and Appetite Loss

 
As a result of cancer treatment, a patient’s appetite tends to fade. If a loved one is not eating, regardless of their reason for it, you want to take action right away. So, here are some tips to help you and your family deal with a loss of appetite.

 

Meals

 

One thing you can do to eat more during your Las Vegas hospice and cancer treatment is to prepare smaller meals and eat more often during the day. Don’t try to stick to a strict eating schedule if you tend to feel full after eating a small amount of food. Allow yourself to munch whenever you feel hungry.

 

If the problem is more with having the desire to eat, do schedule your meals. If you wait until you feel ready to eat, you’ll likely never eat.

 

Another way to address appetite loss with your means is to eat more when you’re hungry. Put as much solid food in your body as possible during those rare occasions and cut back on the amount of liquids you drink. Drink your liquids at least 30 minutes before you eat so that you have room for higher-calorie intake.

 

You can make your meals more appealing by choosing foods that are colorful. Also, stay away from any food that kills your appetite as soon as you smell it.

 

Snacks

 

Since your appetite can fluctuate so significantly, make sure you always have snacks on hand.You want to be ready whenever hunger strikes. Choose high-calorie snacks like cheese, peanut butter, crackers, muffins, dried fruit, nuts and chocolate milk. These snacks give you a good boost of nutrition with little to no preparation.

 

Also consider having a bedtime snack. Eating right before bed will keep your body fueled through the night and you won’t be interfering with a later meal.

 

General Food Tips

 
When foods are hot, they tend to smell stronger than when they are cold. So, try eating more foods that are cold or room temperature if smells bother you. High-calorie options include deli sandwiches or main-dish salads made with pasta, tuna or chicken.

 

Don’t be afraid to try new things. As people age, their taste buds change. That becomes even more true when you undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment. So, try some things you have have never liked before. You may now like something that you never liked before.

 

Protein shakes and drink mixes are another idea for people experiencing appetite loss. It is generally pretty easy for anyone to get liquid based drinks down.

 

It is also a good idea to supplement your diet with a multivitamin or two. You can make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need even if you are struggling to eat. Just remember to discuss this with your doctor in the hospice Las Vegas trusts before you add anything to your treatment.


Choose Las Vegas hospice services to make sure you receive an all-inclusive care that also helps you eat well. For more information about hospice Las Vegas services, contact ProCare Hospice of Nevada at 702.380.8300.

Cancer and Palliative Care


Palliative care
is a type of care that was originally designed to help relieve the symptoms that cancer patients were experiencing without actually curing them. That may seem harsh, but it is because in late stage cancers, the illness can no longer be cured. So the focus was taken from there and directed to making the patient more comfortable.

 

Obviously there are many benefits to this type of patient care. Cancer and Palliative Care patients experience many different symptoms that can be devastating for them. Just because their illness is incurable, does not mean they should have to suffer terribly for the rest of their time alive.

 

These symptoms can include severe pain, shortness of breath, constipation and various degrees of nausea. Palliative care teams from the centers for hospice Las Vegas families trust are specifically trained to be able to deal with these symptoms and more so that the patient can be more comfortable.

 

Contrary to popular belief, that does not simply mean fluffing pillows. Chemotherapy and radiation are treatments that are considered to be palliated. That is because these treatments can reduce the size of tumors which will help lessen the patient’s symptoms. It is important for families to keep in mind that, if this treatment if offered, it was done so purely in an effort to make the patient feel more comfortable.

 

Of course, even palliative chemotherapy and radiation can create side effects in patients. These side effects can include nausea, vomiting, a loss of appetite, skin problems and decreased sexual function. If the treatment does not seem worth the trouble of the side effects, that is a decision that needs to be made between you, your Las Vegas hospice doctor and your family.

 

If you are unsure if palliative care is something you want to participate in, rest assured that research shows cancer patients living longer with the help of palliative care. You deserve to spend as much time as you can with your family.

 

In fact, it is becoming possible to live even longer because palliative care teams all over the country are striving to make sure palliative care becomes an option for a patient as soon as they are diagnosed with cancer. That is because extended palliative care tends to extend a cancer patient’s life exponentially. Patients who receive extended palliative care also report feeling more supported emotionally, mentally, spiritually and legally.

 

Being diagnosed with late stage cancer does not mean you have to give up the fight. Choose hope by reaching out to one of the Las Vegas hospice services that offer palliative care. Choose ProCare Hospice of Nevada because they strive to give patients the best experience possible for as long as possible. For more information about Las Vegas hospice care, contact 702.380.8300.