Palliative Care & Hospice
Palliative care is a specialized form of care that meets the physical, emotional, spiritual and planning needs of patients with serious illnesses and their families. The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering and provide an improved quality of life for people facing chronic or life-limiting illnesses such as cancers, advancing heart, lung or neurological diseases or other illnesses.
Palliative Care: Compassionate Care for Patients and Families
Palliative care focuses on maintaining the personal dignity of the patient. Families are considered an integral part of the palliative process. Palliative care nurses can:
- Help patients and loved ones better understand their illness
- Provide options to maintain independence
- Promote reduction of pain and suffering
- Offer emotional support to patients and families
- Help plan for future health care needs
Palliative care can begin from the diagnosis of a serious illness. It can also be helpful while receiving active or stabilizing treatment. Often, palliative needs change over time as disease progresses. Comfort-focused options can be explored as needed and as end of life approaches.
The benefits of palliative care are often recognized by nurses, physicians and other health care team members. When consulted, a palliative care nurse will review your health issues and meet with you. This service is provided free of charge at Community Memorial Hospital. For more information about our Palliative Care Program, please ask your nurse, physician or another member of your health care team.
Home Care & Hospice Care
Palliative care is sometimes confused with hospice care. Hospice care is a later stage of palliative care and offers support and care for people in the last phase of an incurable disease. Typically, a patient enters hospice care if, in a physician’s judgment, life expectancy is six months or less. Palliative care nurses are available to meet with patients and families to explore hospice options and settings for this care based on individual needs.
Community Memorial Hospital provides services through its affiliation with Horizon Home Care and Hospice, Inc. and other community agencies. Home care provides multifaceted health care services to individuals in their homes, with caring attention given to comfort, dignity, independence, privacy and self-esteem. The hospice program provides sensitive support for people in the final phases of a terminal illness. Hospice nurses help families manage the patient’s care so that the last days may be spent at home with comfort and dignity.