Palliative Care

In this section

What is palliative care?
Palliative care provides comprehensive medical care that includes enhancing quality of life for patients and their family, optimizing function, helping with decision-making and providing opportunities for personal growth. Palliative care is provided throughout your illness, along with curative treatment regardless of the prognosis or life expectancy.

Is palliative care right for me?
Palliative care may be right for you if your suffer from any chronic, debilitating or life threatening illness; if you suffer from pain or distressing symptoms due to your illness or treatment; if you have increased symptoms of disease, frequent admissions to the hospital, decreasing function despite interventions, concerns about communication and goals of care. Illnesses related to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Kidney Failure, Cancers, HIV/AIDS, Dementia, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease and Chronic Arthritis are examples of a few.

How does palliative care work with my doctor?
The Palliative Care team partners with your doctor to provide additional support for you and your family. The team provides extra time for communication and help understanding your health and the health system.

How does palliative care differ from Hospice?
Palliative care is not the same as Hospice. Hospice is a part of palliative care. Hospice is for those who have a life expectancy of less than six months. The treatment is geared toward symptom control, rather than aggressive treatment of the disease.

What can I expect from palliative care?
You can expect to meet a specialized team that includes a palliative care doctor, nurse, social worker and chaplain/pastoral care (dietician, pharmacists and therapists) who will:

  • Provide relief from symptoms of suffering such as pain, shortness of breath and loss of appetite
  • Help manage the stress of a serious illness
  • Provide information and support for understanding your serious medical illness, your options for medical care and setting realistic goals of care
  • Communicate and collaborate with your doctors and specialists to optimize your care
  • Support decisions related to social, ethical and spiritual concerns as they relate to your illness
  • Assist with discharge and long-term care planning
  • Assist with advance care planning

Does my insurance pay for palliative care?
Insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid cover palliative care. A social worker from the palliative care team can help if you have financial concerns.

For more information, contact 305-351-7086.