Palliative Care – Patient Care and Treatment
We offer medical care focused on providing comfort for seriously ill patients through the relief of symptoms and stress. Palliative medicine is useful at any stage of illness and often accompanies curative treatments.
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To help our patients find comfort, we first complete a medical assessment and then work with you to manage symptoms of your illness, which may include pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping.
We also provide:
- Assistance in developing and communicating patient-oriented treatment plans and goals of care
- Support of your primary treatment team and the other medical specialties involved in your care
- Social services support and spiritual care for patients and families
- Clarification of medications and treatments
- Information and support about home care, skilled nursing, and hospice care
- Support for patients’ children with the help of trained volunteers
Our team members will spend as much time with you and your family as it takes to help you fully understand your condition, care options, and other needs. We also make sure you experience a smooth transition between the hospital and other services, such as home care or a nursing facility.
The Team Approach
Patients who are considering palliative care may wonder how it will affect their relationship with their primary team of doctors, but it’s important for you to know that our palliative care team works with your other doctors and accompanies your other types of treatments. Most doctors appreciate the extra time and information our team can provide to their patients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I wait to begin palliative care?
There’s no reason to wait, as it’s never too early to start palliative care. Palliative care occurs at the same time as all other treatments for your illness and does not depend upon the course of your disease.
Does palliative care mean I’m dying?
Receiving palliative care does not necessarily mean that you’re at the end of your life. The purpose of palliative care is to address distressing symptoms such as pain, breathing difficulties or nausea, among many other symptoms that can accompany a serious illness and its treatment
Is palliative care the same as hospice care?
No, hospice care is meant specifically for those approaching the last stages of their lives. Palliative care is appropriate for all stages of a serious illness.
How are palliative care and hospice different?
The care location, timing of care, payment, and your eligibility for service are different with palliative care than with hospice. We can discuss all of these with you.