Palliative Medicine

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care, also known as palliative medicine, focuses on people living with serious illness, providing them relief from symptoms and stress. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a 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 in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.

Illnesses most commonly treated by our palliative care team are heart disease, cancer, COPD, and renal disease.

Palliative care goals:

  • Alleviate physical and emotional pain and symptoms with a focus on patients who have serious life-limiting illnesses.
  • Coordinate care across multiple settings with the intent to enhance quality of life and dignity.
  • Collaborate with and support the primary physician as s/he are adjusting treatment to the on-going decline in the patient's condition.
  • Provide consultation, support, education, and recommendations for traditional and non-traditional medication orders.
  • Address patient wishes, goals and expectations.
  • Create a Plan of Care for the patient, in conjunction all significant individuals: the patient's medical team, family members, significant others, etc.
  • Help families understand their loved one's choices.
  • Provide advanced care planning by staff trained in addressing the sensitive issues these decisions require.