When you or a loved one is diagnosed with serious illness, deciding what to do next is never easy. You have so many questions, and yet, you’re not sure what you need to know. You may feel powerless, overwhelmed, sad or angry — or all of those at once.
Begin by asking yourself or your loved one, “What’s most important?” From there, you can begin to build a roadmap and make informed decisions regarding the plan of care. Understanding the true goals of care, and valuing what’s important, should be a priority. It may take some time to adjust, but knowing your options can help relieve anxiety. Below are some questions to help with this process.
Start the Conversation
Consider the following questions when having a conversation about your care options:
- What do you value most about your life?
- How long do you want to stay in the hospital?
- How much pain is too much? Read more
- Do you want to pursue every possible cure for your serious illness?
- Would you stop curative treatments if they were too stressful or unsuccessful, and opt for comfort instead?
- What do you hope for most regarding your death or the death of a loved one?
- Do you want to be with your family when you die?
- Do you want to die at home?
- Learning more about your illness and what to expect
- Managing pain and symptoms to improve your quality of life
- Discussing goals of care
- Assistance talking with family about difficult decisions
- Emotional and spiritual support
- Accessing community resources
- Education and instruction about caring for a loved one with serious illness
If your healthcare provider does not initiate a conversation about your treatment options immediately after your diagnosis, consider initiating the conversation yourself. Additionally, if your provider does not discuss alternatives to curative treatments, make sure to ask questions about this. Don’t be afraid to ask about alternatives to curative treatment if you think it may be something you’re interested in. Many care options are available and, often times, your doctor might not be taking your healthcare goals into account.
How JourneyCare Helps You and Your Family
After a diagnosis, JourneyCare can help you and your loved ones make informed decisions about the type of care you should receive, and help with life’s ups and downs.
Our mission is to provide expert pain and symptom management and supportive care to anyone faced with serious illness — wherever you call home. We also provide support for those who love them. Our care team of nurses, aides, physicians, chaplains, social workers and other experts can help provide an understanding of what to expect and plan for in the future. Click here or call 1-844-6-JOURNEY to speak with a JourneyCare team member.
JourneyCare’s specially trained team can help you and your loved ones with: