Palliative care helps seriously ill patients get the best possible quality of life. Through a team approach, the Palliative Care Program looks for ways to give patients relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness - whatever the diagnosis.
You may be a candidate for this program if you are a seriously ill patient with a life-limiting illness such as AIDS, cancer, chronic heart failure, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, chronic lung disease, dementia, or stroke.
The Palliative Care Program can help you have a better understanding of your condition and your choices for medical care. They also help with managing your symptoms, discussing goals of care and Advance Directives, conducting a family conference, breaking bad news, communicating prognosis, or discussing hospice care.
Palliative care is different than hospice care. While all hospice care is palliative care, not all palliative care is hospice care. Palliative care can begin as soon as a patient is diagnosed with a serious illness and can be provided at the same time as curative or life prolonging treatment. Hospice care focuses on the unique needs of terminally ill patients.
Language and cultural support are available for these services. You and your family can get these services by asking any member of your health care team to contact the Palliative Care Program, but only your doctor can order a formal consultation.
The palliative care team works closely with the patient's primary doctor to coordinate a plan of care, including discharge planning, and works collaboratively with other services involved in the care of the patient.
If you are interested in being referred to the Palliative Care Program, ask your doctor to make a referral. If you have already been referred and are waiting for an appointment, call 408-793-5974.