Palliative Care

Palliative Care Improves Quality of Life for Patient with Serious or Chronic Illnesses

Individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness may benefit from the palliative care model at The Center for Lifelong Health at University Hospitals Bedford Medical Center, a Campus of UH Regional Hospitals.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious or chronic illnesses. Some of these conditions include:

Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided along with curative treatment.

Relief from Pain and Other Symptoms

Palliative care focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms of their illness, such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and depression. It also strives to reduce the stress that patients and their families often experience when confronting serious health issues.

The goal of a palliative care model is to improve quality of life for both the patient and their loved ones, regardless of the prognosis. The support we provide also helps patients gain the strength to carry on with daily life and may increase their ability to tolerate medical treatments. Improved communication between the patient, family and the care team, ensures that patients remain involved in their own care and better understand their treatment options and goals.

A Partnership of Patient, Specialists and Family

Palliative care is a team approach to care. The core team includes specially trained doctors, nurses and social workers who work together with the patient’s primary care physician and other specialists. Physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, spiritual leaders and others may also be involved, providing an extra layer of support.

The palliative care team provides:

  • Close communication
  • Expert management of pain and other symptoms
  • Assistance in navigating the healthcare system
  • Assistance in selecting and completing advance directives paperwork
  • Guidance with difficult and complex treatment choices
  • Emotional and spiritual support for patients and families

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