Our Palliative Care services offer a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death and to reduce suffering. The primary focus of Palliative Care is to relieve physical symptoms related to a disease or medical state, enabling a patient and family to address psychosocial and spiritual concerns near death.
Palliative Care provides compassionate and comprehensive care to patients and their families facing illnesses in their advanced stages and helps families cope during their loved one's illness and in their own bereavement.
Emotional support, guidance and counseling for patient and family as well as respite and grief counseling for family and loved ones are also emphasized.
Any time a patient facing life-threatening illness is not managing their symptoms satisfactorily at home and feels their quality of life could be enhanced by specialty palliative care.
Cancer patients with pain and other symptoms is the primary group served, but palliative care is also intended to care for patients with other diagnoses, including end-stage heart or lung diseases, and late-stage HIV disease. Admitting symptoms would include poorly controlled pain, troublesome nausea and vomiting, acute shortness of breath, and unmanageable agitation or confusion.
Patients, families, physicians, and other healthcare providers. Actual admission is reviewed for appropriateness by the Palliative Care Team.
The Palliative Care Team assists patients, family, and friends to make informed decisions about treatment and care. A patient's regular physician may participate in any aspect of treatment planning and care as well as obtain consultation from the unit's medical director. Everyone works together to relieve a patient and their family's suffering.
Family members and close friends are encouraged to be present and participate in care as much as they are willing and able. Rooms are private and visiting hours are 24 hours a day. Sleepover furniture for one family member is available in each patient room. A multi-purpose room and lounge are available.
Because Palliative Care services provide acute care under its license, costs to patients are generally covered by insurance. To offer maximum flexibility, a private pay rate is also available for select situations if insurance coverage ends. Donated funds are also utilized from many sources to cover the costs of this unique service. There is commitment to provide service to all who are eligible based on need regardless of ability to pay.
St. Joseph Health physicians and staff know that this is an overwhelming and difficult time for you and your family. You don’t have to do this alone. We’re here to answer questions, provide support and help you and your family. Providing compassionate hospice and palliative care for people nearing the end of their lives is one of the hallmarks of St. Joseph Health’s care.
The end-of-life process is unique to each person. We encourage you to read the information on the pages provided to understand this process and find out more about how we can support you.
It’s important that family caregivers pay attention to their own needs while being there for their loved ones. Get plenty of rest, eat nutritious food and exercise. Headaches, nausea, heartburn or shortness of breath can be symptoms of stress and fatigue.
Find out more in these FAQs.