Specialized Care During Serious Illness
Palliative care is specialized care for people at any stage of a serious illness — at diagnosis, throughout treatment, during follow-up and at the end of life.
It focuses on providing relief from the pain, symptoms and stress of a serious, chronic or life-threatening illness such as cardiac disease, respiratory conditions, kidney failure, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic injury and more.
Benefits of Palliative Care
According to the The Center to Advance Palliative Care this type of care can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life by:
- Effectively relieving physical and emotional suffering
- Strengthening the communication and decision-making process among patients, families and physicians
- Coordinating care across multiple health care settings
Palliative Care Versus Hospice Care
While hospice care also provides comfort, it is limited to those with advanced stage or terminal illness. Palliative care can be used during any stage of illness and given at any age. Palliative care can also be used in conjunction with other therapies that help promote a cure. The goal of hospice care is to promote comfort, not cure.
Palliative Care at Valley Hospital
If you think you or a loved one could benefit from palliative care services, tell your nurse or talk with your attending physician who will arrange for a consult with a member of the palliative care team at Valley Hospital Medical Center. A palliative care physician or nurse practitioner will explain the services and allow the patient to decide if he or she wishes to pursue palliative care in addition to curative treatment. Many insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover all or part of palliative care services.