What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care specializes in taking care of patients with a serious illness and focuses on providing relief from symptoms, pain and stress in order to improve the quality of life for the patient and their families. Care is provided by an interdisciplinary team with a focus on:
• Assessment and treatment of physical, emotional and spiritual distress
• Communication and decision making to establish patient-centered goals of care
• Coordination of transitions of care and support for the needs of the patients and families
Who is a candidate for Palliative Care?
Patients who may benefit from a palliative care consult include those with:
• A diagnosis of a life-limiting or serious illness
• Difficult to control physical or emotional symptoms
• Dementia with declining functional status
• Repeated admissions to a hospital
Patients diagnosed with diseases such as heart failure, renal failure, metastatic cancer and chronic pulmonary diseases may also be candidates for a palliative care consult. Palliative care is not hospice. It can be provided
alongside curative treatments.
St. Vincent’s Palliative Care Team
Our interdisciplinary team consists of doctors, nurses, social workers and chaplains, with support from other disciplines as needed. We work together with the patient’s healthcare team to provide an extra layer of support.
The team is skilled in:
• Providing information about diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options
• Offering guidance during the process of making treatment decisions
• Offering a caring presence and supporting the patient’s search for a new sense of meaning, purpose and hope
• Advocating on behalf of the patient to ensure their wishes are honored