LINK - Palliative Care
What is LINK?
LINK is the palliative care program of Cedar Valley Hospice that has been developed to provide supportive care to those individuals and families facing a life-threatening illness and are not enrolled on the Cedar Valley Hospice program.
What is palliative care?
Palliative care (pronounced PAH-LEE-UH-TIVE) means to make comfortable by treating a person's symptoms from an illness. Hospice care focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting patients with a life expectancy of months, not years, and their families. However, palliative care may be given at any time during a person's illness, from diagnosis on and can be used along with curative treatment.
The goals of LINK:
- Listen to patients and families
- Inform patients and families of resources in their communities
- Navigate the health care system
- Knowledge/educate patients and families on health care choices and treatments
When to consider LINK:
- Recurrent hospital admission for advanced illness
- Difficult symptom management
- Changing plan of care
- Distress, anxiety or loss of hope
- Conflict among patient and family regarding course of treatment
Patients must be diagnosed with an advanced stage of a life limiting illness with a physical and/or psychosocial need.
Making a referral
Anyone can make a referral:
- Healthcare professionals
- Family members
The LINK Team
The LINK team consists of a registered nurse, licensed social worker, volunteers, patient and physician. They work as a team to develop a care plan that meets the patient's physical and emotional health needs. The care plan may address such needs as pain and symptom management, nausea, fatigue, education on diagnosis, depression, anxiety and fear to increase the overall wellbeing of the patients and family.
The benefits of using LINK are:
- Improved quality of life for patients and family
- Expert pain and symptom control of physical, emotional, spiritual or social conditions
- Enhanced communication between patient and healthcare providers
- Assistance with coping with your illness and education regarding treatment options
- Assistance with completion of advance directives
- Volunteer companionship
LINK charges a monthly fee for services. A sliding fee scale based on household size, current income and medical expenses is used to determine fees. However, no one will be denied services regardless of ability to pay.
The LINK staff is available Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.