Palliative care helps seriously ill patients live with 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. The members of the team help with managing pain and other symptoms, discussing the goals of your treatment, planning for your future care, and dealing with the stresses of being ill or caring for someone who is ill. Palliative care can also coordinate a family conference, assist with helping you understand your prognosis, and provide information on hospice, if needed.
Palliative care is not the same as 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 is an area of palliative care that 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. Only your doctor can order a formal consultation.
The SCVMC Palliative Care Program is available in the hospital and in the clinic. 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.
Speak with your doctor if you would like a referral to the Palliative Care Program. If you have already been referred and need to contact the team, please call the clinic at 408-793-5974.