Palliative care provides specialized medical care for anyone diagnosed with a serious illness. A medical team will work with you to manage pain and symptoms and improve your comfort level.
Palliative care adds an additional layer to your current care. Your palliative doctor will coordinate your care with your neurologist and primary care doctor. A nurse and social worker will check on you periodically.
Here are some facts about palliative care:
- You can begin receiving palliative care any time after your ALS diagnosis.
- You can receive palliative care in your home, hospital, nursing home, or other long-term care facilities.
- During palliative care, you can still take curative treatments (like riluzole), participate in drug trials, and receive durable medical equipment through your insurance.
- Medicare and private insurance plans should cover all or part of palliative care, just as it would for other medical services. Medicaid benefits will vary by state. Ask what would be covered for you.
Talk with your ALS Association chapter or ALS clinic social worker about palliative care and providers who have experience working with ALS patients. In order to enroll in palliative care, your doctor will need to write you a referral.
Learn more about ALS and palliative care and read answers to frequently asked questions.