When you are living with a chronic or long-term condition, palliative care provides treatment to relieve pain, symptoms and stress. You can get support from palliative care no matter the stage of your disease.
We provide supportive and comfort care to patients who are:
- Living with chronic diseases
- Undergoing treatment for curable illnesses
- Nearing the end of life
Talk with your doctor if you want to receive palliative care. Our team provides palliative care services in the hospital. We help you and your family make difficult decisions, plan ahead and cope with problems as they occur.
Your palliative care team includes chaplains, doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and social workers. We can:
- Help coordinate your care and treatment with your doctors
- Help you maintain the most comfortable, independent and active life possible
- Identify support services to help you during and after your hospital stay
- Provide answers, assistance and emotional support to you and your family when making difficult medical decisions
- Treat your pain and symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, depression and anxiety
We also assist you with advance care planning if needed. Advance care planning ensures that your care continues in the way you want, even if you’re unable to directly communicate with your health care team.
At Providence, we use a holistic approach to help you achieve the highest quality of life based on your health and life goals. We understand the difficulties of managing serious illnesses such as:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Multiple sclerosis
Our palliative care team knows that your condition and treatments impact how you feel physically and emotionally. Your symptoms can impact your quality of life and steal the energy and motivation you once had to do the things you enjoy.
What you are going through also puts stress on your family. We provide the support and care to help you and your family cope with difficult medical experiences.
If you move from the hospital to care at home or a nursing facility, your palliative care team ensures a smooth transition.
The best time to start the conversation about the kind of care you’d want if you were in an accident or became seriously ill is now. The Institute for Human Caring is dedicated to engaging the community and health care providers in conversations about what matters and ensuring that our patient’s care preferences are honored. We can help you think about the care you’d want, talk to your loved ones about your decisions, choose your advocate and complete an advance directive.
Start the conversation with these four steps:
- THINK - about your values, goals and care preferences if you were to become seriously ill
- TALK - to your loved ones about these care preferences
- CHOOSE - someone to speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself
- COMPLETE - an Advance Directive
Advance directive tool kit
Learn how to make decisions about the care you would want to receive if you become unable to speak for yourself. Visit Institute For Human Caring to access Providence Advance Directive tool kit in multiple languages to assist you and your family in having the conversation, selecting a health care decision maker and completing an Advance Directive.
POLST (Physician Order for Life Sustaining Treatment)
Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a physician order that outlines a plan of care reflecting a patient’s wishes concerning care at life’s end. The POLST form is voluntary and is intended to:
- Help you and your patient discuss and develop plans to reflect his or her wishes
- Assist physicians, nurses, healthcare facilities, and emergency personnel in honoring a person’s wishes for life-sustaining treatment
- For more information, please visit POLST for health care providers
The Choices Bank was originally created by the Life’s End Institute and sponsored by St. Patrick Hospital. Missoula legislators proposed a bill in 2005 to create and maintain a secure, online registry accessible to health care providers and families throughout the state; this is now known as the End-of-Life Registry. As with the Choices Bank, there is no charge to use the Montana End-of-Life-Registry.
To view your advance directive, use the codes on the wallet card that you received in the mail from the Registry. If you do not have a new card, you may also use a combination of your name, date of birth, mother’s maiden name and social security number; or, if you still have your original Choices Bank card, you may use that name and access code.
The updated My Choices Advance Directive form is still available for your use, either from the registry’s website or from The Learning Center at St. Patrick Hospital.
For information and assistance in completing your advance directive, come to The Learning Center (Medical Library) at St. Patrick Hospital, located on the first level of the Broadway Building. The library staff will witness your advance directive, make copies for your representatives and for Medical Records, and forward it to the End-of-Life-Registry in Helena.
The End-of-Life-Registry is in the Department of Justice - Office of Consumer Protection and Victim Services, and is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so help is always available should you or your family have questions in an emergency. To learn more, visit dojmt.gov/consumer/end-of-life-registry.