When faced with a chronic, long-term or advanced illness, palliative care can provide the support and comfort needed by both you and your family to help improve your quality of life.
Decisions about your care, future planning, managing symptoms and emotional challenges should not be things you have to do on your own. Our team provides support in dealing with these and other issues, so that you can focus on living your best life.
At Lakewood Health System, palliative care addresses the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs that face both the patient and his or her family when there is a significant change in health. Comfort and quality of life are the primary priorities, all while honoring the traditions, beliefs and goals of the patient and his/her family.
Palliative care involves:
- Comprehensive symptom assessment and management
- Support with decision making
- Medicine, therapies and support
- Managing pain and other symptoms
- Evaluating goals of care
- Adjusting lifestyle goals
- Working through family issues
- Locating support and resources
- Finding meaning in illness
- And, if needed, future care needs
Palliative care is appropriate for persons with advanced or chronic illness, such as:
- Cardiac (heart) disease
- Renal (kidney) disease
- Pulmonary (lung) disease
- Liver disease
- Neurological disease
- Pain disorders
- Diabetes or other serious disease
Palliative care can be delivered in partnership with active disease management and treatment. Determining the most appropriate plan of care is achieved through a specialized consultation with a physician, care coordinator, social worker or spiritual care provider. When a request is made for a consultation, our team will arrange for an assessment at a time and place convenient for you and your family. Additional sessions are arranged as-needed, and depending upon your individual needs, take place over a period of weeks or months.
Palliative care goes beyond a person’s physical well-being, to address social, emotional and spiritual needs. Not only does our program utilize medicine and other therapies to manage and treat symptoms, like: pain, fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and depression, we also maintain consistent and open communication on prognosis and goals of care.
Communication topics can include:
- Understanding the medical condition
- Identify options consistent with patients needs and wishes
- Clarifying risks and benefits of choices
- When to begin or end treatment
Palliative care will help both patients and families connect to resources that promote a higher quality of life. Whether providing a care referral or assistance coordinating an insurance or community resources, our team sees all of your needs as an equally important part of being “healthy”.