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PALLIATIVE (COMFORT) CARE

Palliative Care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of disease and chronic illness, including cancer, cardiac disease such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more. It can also be provided along with curative treatment.

Palliative care focuses on the symptoms of the disease and the treatment to help you with a wide range of issues, including pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, shortness of breath, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. It also helps you gain the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves your ability to tolerate medical treatments, and it helps you have more control over your care by improving your understanding of your choices for treatment.

Palliative care is provided in a variety of settings, including in the comfort of home. In addition, most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative care. Where costs are a concern, a social worker from the palliative care team can help you.

IS PALLIATIVE CARE RIGHT FOR YOU?

Do you have one or more serious illnesses?

Including cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, lung disease, kidney failure, liver failure, neurological diseases (eg. ALS, Parkinson’s) and/or dementia.

Do you have symptoms that impact your quality of life?

Including pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, anxiety, depression, lack of appetite, nausea and/or constipation.

Have you experienced the following?

Difficult side effects from treatment, eating problems due to a serious illness, frequent emergency room visits, and/or three or more admissions to the hospital within 12 months and with the same symptoms.

DO YOU NEED HELP WITH

  • Knowing what to expect
  • Knowing what programs and resources are available
  • Making medical decisions about treatment choices/options
  • Matching your goals and values to your medical care
  • Coping with the stress of a serious illness
  • Emotional support
  • Spiritual or religious support
  • Talking with your family about your illness and what is important to you

Our palliative care team is here for you.

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