Advanced Illness Management
Advanced Illness Management Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHAT IS ADVANCED ILLNESS MANAGEMENT (AIM)?
“Advanced Illness occurs when one or more conditions become serious enough that general health and functioning decline, and treatments begin to lose their impact. This is a process that continues to the end of life.” From the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care.
2. DOES AIM DIFFER FROM PALLIATIVE CARE?
No. Advanced Illness Management (AIM) is palliative Care. “Palliative” is defined as symptom relief. All medical providers focus on relieving the burden of symptoms when the body’s health is out of balance. Palliative Care is defined as, “Specialized medical care for people living with serious illness that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stresses of serious illness, whatever the diagnosis.” Center for the Advancement of Palliative Care.
3. HOW DO I KNOW IF I (OR MY LOVED ONE) IS RIGHT FOR AIM CARE?
Seniors and disabled people on traditional Medicare B with complex chronic illnesses such as advanced heart and lung disease, dementia or cancer who may not qualify for Medicare-sponsored home health care or hospice and have significant obstacles to receiving office-based health care may benefit from AIM.
4. IS AIM OR PALLIATIVE CARE THE SAME AS HOSPICE?
No – You will not be enrolled in hospice. AIM can be provided along with curative treatment. The focus of AIM is on relieving symptoms, stress and pain with a goal to enhance recovery. Hospice’s focus is on relieving symptoms, stress and pain at the end of life.
AIM is similar to hospice in that the focus is improving the quality of life for patients and families through a Team-Based Approach.
5. WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE AIM TEAM?
VNA has a history of over 100 years of service in the St. Louis Community. Our Mission Statement: “VNA provides a coordinated continuum of care throughout one’s lifespan that promotes health, independence and dignity in the home and community.”
Our experienced team of providers including MDs, Nurse Practitioners, Social Workers, Spiritual Counselors and Volunteers will manage serious conditions in the patient’s place of residence. We are a specialty team that coordinates care with the patient’s primary providers to give an additional layer of support. Patient-centered care is provided with the patient and family (caregivers) goals as our priority regardless of the trajectory of illness.