Community Based Palliative Care
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with a serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress that often come along with a serious illness. The care team emphasizes symptom management, such as pain control and helps patients and families understand their illness and treatment options.
Special attention is given to care planning and the goals, culture, choices, and values of patients and their families with the goal of improving the quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care can be thought of as a supplement to ongoing treatment for the underlying disease.
The Community Based Palliative Care Program at Marian Regional Medical Center is certified by the Joint Commission.
What can I expect from Palliative Care?
The Palliative Care team is a group of dedicated professionals who will oversee your symptom management and assist with care planning. The team consists of:
- Palliative Care Physician
- Palliative Care Nurses
- Social Worker
- Bereavement Services
Important goals are:
- Educate patients and families regarding disease processes, care planning and treatment choices
- Optimize pain and symptom control
- Optimize functional status
- Promote the highest quality of life for patient and family
- Serve as an educator and mentor for patients, families, peers and other healthcare personnel
- Educate patients and family regarding disease processes and expected course of the illness
- Facilitate timely access to Palliative Care services and establish a comforting and healing environment
How does Palliative Care differ from Hospice?
The biggest distinction from Hospice is that Palliative Care is provided in conjunction with curative treatments. Palliative Care is also appropriate at any time during a serious illness whereas Hospice is generally only for those in the last months of life. Hospice is most help¬ful for those who no longer benefit from more aggressive curative therapies. Palliative Care aims to optimize medical treatments and helps patients adapt and better tolerate potentially difficult therapies and illness.
Do I keep my current doctor?
Yes, a person enrolled in a Palliative Care program will continue to be supported by their primary care physician. The Palliative Care team will work alongside your primary doctor to provide quality care and symptom management.
Palliative Care requires a referral from a physician. Ask your physician if Palliative Care is appropriate for you. For more information about this service, please call (805) 739-3950.