About Palliative Care
How can palliative care services help you?
Palliative care services can help you control the pain and symptoms of your condition and help you and your family to achieve a sense of control over your situation. Because palliative care addresses both medical and non-medical issues, your palliative care team can also support your family, keep lines of communication open between you, your family and your physicians and ensure that your wishes are honored.
Who provides palliative care services?
Palliative care services are provided by palliative care professionals including a medical director, physician, certified nurse practitioner, nurse manager, social worker and pastoral care chaplain. This special team of experts works with you and your primary care doctor, specialist, nurse and caregivers to assess your needs and provide care for you and your family.
What are the goals of palliative care?
The main goal of palliative care is to provide you with the best quality of life possible. We recognize that each patient is unique and has different goals, so our palliative care team focuses on you as an individual in order to understand what is important to you. You can, however, always expect comfort, relief from symptoms and the ability to go about living your life with control over your care with the support of the palliative care team.
Where is palliative care provided?
Palliative care may be provided to patients wherever they are – home, hospital, long-term care and assisted living facilities, hospice house and outpatient settings.
When should you seek palliative care?
Palliative care is appropriate, and can be provided, at any stage of illness. In fact, it's best to seek palliative care sooner rather than later to allow your palliative care team to help you mold your care plan to achieve your goals and improve your quality of life. Palliative care may be provided at the same time as curative treatment.
Why should you consider palliative care?
If you suffer from symptoms of a life-limiting illness, palliative care may be right for you. Serious illnesses include cancer, advanced heart disease, emphysema, ALS and Alzheimer's disease. The palliative care team works with your own physician to provide support for you and your loved ones. This complete team approach helps in keeping lines of communication open between you, your family and your physicians and ensures that your wishes are honored.
How do I go about requesting palliative care?
Talk with your physician, nurse and loved ones about your desire to seek palliative care and the benefits you see it bringing to your life. You may contact St. Luke's Palliative Care Services directly. Our team will work with your physician or specialist.
Is palliative care the same as hospice care?
No. Palliative care can benefit you and your family early in the disease process. Hospice provides care for you and your family in the last six months of life. However, the Palliative Care team and Hospice team often work together to provide the most appropriate and effective care for you and your family at all stages of your illness.