What is palliative care?
Palliative care is treatment that enhances comfort and improves the quality of an individual’s life during end of life care. This is an important part of the hospice program.
In our palliative care program no specific therapy is excluded from consideration. The key to palliative care lies in the agreement between the individual, physician(s), primary caregiver, and the hospice team that the expected outcome is relief from distressing symptoms, the easing of pain, and/or enhancing the quality of life. The decision to intervene during end of life care with active palliative care is based on an ability to meet stated goals rather than affect the underlying disease.
An individual’s needs must continue to be assessed and all treatment options explored and evaluated in the context of the individual’s values and symptoms. The individual’s choices and decisions regarding care are paramount and must be followed.
When is palliative care needed?
Palliative care can help a patient at any stage of a life-limiting illness or condition. Although it is best introduced early in the plan of care, it can be received at any time. A patient may need palliative care and support if he or she:
Palliative care has a number of benefits: