Palliative care and medicine focuses on comfort and quality of life for patients and the families of patients dealing with a progressive, serious or chronic illness or injury. OhioHealth’s palliative care teams work with your doctor to enhance the treatment you are already receiving with the goal of pain control and managing other symptoms and to provide psychological and spiritual support throughout the disease process so you can have the best possible comfort and quality of life.
Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses, social workers and other specialists who work together with a patient’s doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Improves Quality of Life
Palliative care teams specialize in treating people suffering from the symptoms and stress of serious illnesses such as cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more. Patient symptoms may include depression, pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and much more.
The team will also spend time communicating deeply with you. They will give you control over your care by truly exploring your goals and helping you to understand your treatment options. They will help you gain the strength to carry on with daily life and improve your quality of life.
A Partnership of Palliative Care Team, Patient and Family
Palliative care teams work together with your other doctors, you and your family. Close communication is key. The palliative care team spends as much time as necessary communicating with you, your family and your other doctors. They support you and your family every step of the way.
The core team includes doctor, nurse and social work palliative care specialists. Massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, chaplains and others may also be part of the team.
The patient’s physician remains in charge of the patient’s care. Palliative care complements the attending physician’s care when comfort, counseling and quality of life become increasingly important.
Choosing palliative care is not “giving up,” rather it is choosing to have more control over pain and symptoms. It helps the patient, family and the patient’s physician when:
. It is difficult to control pain and debilitating symptoms
. Ethical decision-making is unclear
. Complex physical, psychological and social suffering requires extensive evaluation and close follow-up
Talking to Your Doctor
If you or a loved one is facing a serious illness, you may benefit from palliative care. Speak to your doctor, and ask for it.
For more information about Palliative Care and other services provided at Kingsbrook call 606-324-1414.