Palliative care is a supportive care service focused on improving the quality of life for people of any age and at any stage of their illness. Palliative care may begin upon diagnosis with a serious illness and continues throughout treatment. These supportive services may benefit patients with chronic illness that include COPD, kidney failure, diabetes, congestive heart failure, cancer, dementia or stroke, to name a few.
Patient values and goals of care direct the care plan for supportive‑care services. Our team of doctors, a nurse, social worker, and spiritual support staff work closely with your primary care team to support your needs. Supportive‑care team members provide disease education, symptom management, emotional support, and spiritual care to help make your quality of life the best it can be in spite of any health challenges.
Our services remain available to patients and families even after the patient is discharged home, so you always have a contact when your care needs change. In addition, we are here to support your self‑care at home.
If you or a loved one may benefit from supportive services, you can request a referral from your hospital physician, nurse, social worker or chaplain. We look forward to walking with you on your journey.
Providing care for a loved one can be stressful. In order to be a good caregiver, it is important to take care of yourself. Here are five ways to reduce your stress so you can be a better caregiver:
Ask for help. Seek help and support from family members, friends and available community groups, such as clubs or churches. Keep a list of tasks and errands you have had difficulty getting to, and be ready to pass one along when someone asks how they can help. See if someone else can provide care for a little while to give yourself a much‑needed break. Often friends and family state they would have helped if they had only been asked or told of the specific needs. Some family may be financially able to hire someone else to provide care a few hours a week to give you some time off.
Be body and mind aware. Protect your own physical and mental health. If you experience pain, are unable to eat or sleep, or become anxious or depressed, see your primary care physician for immediate intervention and support.
Do something you enjoy. A manicure, pedicure, coffee break with a good friend, reading, meditation, prayer, music, art or simply resting while the patient is napping can help rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.
Eat well and exercise. Your well‑being depends on getting enough water, healthy foods and at least 20 minutes of activity a day to function best. Yes, one 20‑minute or two 10‑minute walks around the hospital count!
Connect. Support groups, clergy, friends, family and clubs can provide support and reassurance as well as disease‑specific education. Journaling also can help you connect to your innermost thoughts and fears. Acknowledging your feelings can reduce stress.