Hello. And welcome!
If you’re here because you’re looking for answers and support around serious illness and potentially terminal disease that either you or a loved one is dealing with, then we know you are going through a really, really difficult time. One of the questions on your mind might be about palliative care – often called end-of-life care.
Palliative care is specialised care for people with serious illness, focused on providing relief from symptoms and stress. And it’s important to remember that palliative care doesn’t stand in opposition to curative care; the two often co-exist side-by-side with the balance shifting over time.
The care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other professionals who work together with your doctors to provide an extra layer of support. The goal is to improve quality of life for both patient and family. It’s a difficult and emotional time when you or someone close to you is seriously ill, and palliative care offers physical, emotional and spiritual support to help you cope, and live a better life, especially when time becomes short.
“Our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognise that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer. The chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining meaning in life; that we have the opportunity to refashion our institutions, our culture, and our conversations in ways that transform the possibilities for the last chapters of everyone’s lives.”
Atul Gawande from Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
What is Alignd.Palliative?
Currently, not many medical schemes are set up to offer cover for palliative care, and the few that do, typically offer the benefit only once curative treatment has been stopped. But Alignd.Palliative offers medical schemes an easy-to-implement, comprehensive palliative care benefit for their members. The medical schemes who have partnered with Alignd.Palliative are able to offer meaningful palliative care from the moment of diagnosis of advanced stage cancer or cancer that has spread to other organs.
As a result, these patients will have more choices and autonomy in the way they wish to live their life with a potentially life-limiting disease. For example, many patients wish to be cared for at home instead of in hospital, but current medical scheme benefits are often such that treatment is only covered in hospital.
With full palliative care cover, patients can decide how and where they would like to live their life. Patients are treated as a whole, as a human, and not just as a diagnosis or a disease.
We’d like to see all medical schemes partnering with Alignd.Palliative so everyone can have the choice of how and where they are cared for during a very serious illness. If your medical scheme doesn’t offer a full palliative care benefit, let them know there is a demand for it.
Find out more about palliative care.
Learn more about palliative care with supportive information and useful resources here, including an advance care plan template – where you can record your wishes (or those of your loved one) about end-of-life care before you become too unwell, making sure things happen in a way that you would prefer.