Palliative and Supportive Care
What is Palliative Care?
The goals of palliative care are to relieve symptoms and enhance the quality of life for patients with advanced illness and those near the end of life. Palliative care is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of nurses, physicians, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and others to help deliver individualized care.
The Palliative and Supportive Care Clinic focuses on advanced disease management. We assess pain and other distressing symptoms such as anxiety, shortness of breath, nausea, fatigue, depression, and insomnia in adults of all ages with chronic illnesses including heart and lung disease, Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases, strokes, congenital conditions, and cancer. The Palliative and Supportive Care Team works with patients and families to determine specific needs and explore overall goals of care. The team will coordinate care with the patient’s primary care and specialist physicians, and help patients and their families navigate the complex medical system. In addition, assistance with referrals to appropriate resources in the community such as visiting nurse services, hospice services, assisted living, and long-term care facilities is also provided.
Meeting the needs of adults with chronic advanced illness
We help adults of all ages with chronic conditions or life-limiting illnesses to stay independent and symptom-free for as long as possible. The Palliative and Supportive Care Clinic is able to provide many services:
- Educating patients and families about palliative care
- Educating patients and families about their disease and what to expect
- Educating patents and families about treatment of symptoms
- Treatment of pain and other distressing symptoms such as anxiety and depression
- Ongoing support and coordination of care with the primary physician
- Discussion of patient wishes and overall goals of care and development of treatment plans
- Help with difficult decisions often encountered:
- Assigning a durable power of attorney for healthcare
- Living wills and other advanced directives
- Decisions about “DNR” or resuscitation
- Decisions about feeding tubes and artificial nutrition and hydration
- Decisions about hospice care
- Work with hospice programs, if appropriate, to coordinate care and address questions about the dying process
- Assistance with accessing Medicare, Medicaid and other benefits
- Support for family members experiencing caregiver stress, grief and bereavement