Articles of Interest: Health Information

Articles of Interest: Health Information

Palliative Care

Living with a serious illness can create physical challenges like pain, symptoms or side effects from medication…and even emotional concerns like anxiety or depression…that can affect your quality of life.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses, offering expert pain and symptom management to treat the whole person, at any age, and at any stage of illness.

Learn more.

Inpatient or Observation Status in the Hospital

Medicare beneficiary’s inpatient or outpatient status in a hospital affects the way that Medicare bills the beneficiary as well as whether the patient qualifies for Skilled Nursing Facility care following the hospital stay, so it is vital for a beneficiary to understand their rights. Here is information, from the Center for Medicare Advocacy, that describes the issue surrounding observation status, and provides steps that patients can take to try and resolve the issue.

Please click on the link to view the packet:

Note, In Illinois, hospitals are not required to tell a patient if they are being put under observation status or being admitted to the hospital, so it is important for the patient to ask. Please view the fact sheet created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services below for more information about the difference between inpatient and outpatient status:

source: Make Medicare Work Coalition ,

Next Step in Care: Family Caregivers and Health Care Professionals Working Together

Next Step in Care, a campaign of United Hospital Fund, provides hospital admission and Emergency Room guides to provide basic information about “observation status” and what to ask. This information is important as it is a rising trend to be in an "observation" rather than "in-patient" in the hospital.

Click here to open the hospital admission guide.

Click here to open the Emergency Room guide.

Click here to read it as a standalone piece.

Healthcare Communication Board for Medical, Physical, and Emotional Information

For people who are unable to speak, this tool will assist with communication. Click here to download the publication.

Legal Planning for Living with a Chronic Medical Condition

In 1900, most people died younger from communicable diseases and after relatively short illnesses. Today, we are more likely to die older from one or more chronic conditions and after an extended period of illness. The decisions involved with planning for disability associated with chronic conditions can be difficult to make. Recognizing that developing a plan is the goal and that plans can (and should) be revised over time may help you assume a proactive role when it comes to legal matters. For a summary of the basics involved in planning, please click here.

Resources for those affected by Stroke

Careliving, a program from the National Stroke Association
Careliving is an online social network that allows caregivers and family members of stroke survivors to connect, share and support one another. Click here to download the publication.

Stroke Survivors Empowering Each Other (SSEEO)
Providing advocacy, support, education, and resources to stroke survivors and their families.
Click here to learn more

Tips for Caregivers of People with Dementia

Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease at home is a difficult task and can become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behavior. Research has shown that caregivers themselves often are at increased risk for depression and illness, especially if they do not receive adequate support from family, friends, and the community. Click here to download the publication.

 "End of Life: Helping with Comfort and Care"

Helping With Comfort and Care provides an overview of issues commonly facing people caring for someone nearing the end of life. It can help you to work with health care providers to complement their medical and caregiving efforts. The booklet does not replace the personal and specific advice of the doctor, but it can help you make sense of what is happening and give you a framework for making care decisions. Click here to download the publication.

Caring for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease

Caring for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease: Your Easy-to-Use-Guide from the National Institute on Aging. Click here to download the publication.

A Guide for Families of People with Dementia Living in Care Facilities

The Alzheimer’s Association-Greater Illinois Chapter is pleased to offer a free online resource, Encouraging Comfort Care: A Guide for Families of People with Dementia Living in Care Facilities. This 21-page booklet provides useful information to families and staff of long-term care facilities about Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, particularly care issues related to the late and final stages.

For families, this guide will enable them to make informed choices about a variety of medical decisions they may face on behalf of loved ones with dementia living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other types of care facilities. It will also equip families to ask good questions aimed at obtaining the best care for their loved ones, including a handy checklist of comfort care measures to be discussed with staff members of care facilities. Click here to download the publication.