Palliative care specialists treat people living with many disease types and chronic illnesses. These include cancer, cardiac disease such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and many more. Palliative care is also essential for patients with COVID-19.
Palliative care focuses on the symptoms and stress of the disease and the treatment. It treats a wide range of issues that can include pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, shortness of breath, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.
Palliative care teams improve your quality of life. They do this by helping you tolerate medical treatments, helping you match your goals to your treatment choices, supporting your family caregivers and more.
Assess and manage distressing physical symptoms that are poorly controlled
Address psychological, social, and spiritual stressors
Improve understanding of illness and its progression, treatment options,
making treatment decisions, and coordinating care
Discuss openly all treatment choices, including treatment for your disease
and management of your symptoms
Explore one’s hopes, concerns, goals and values; cultural or religious beliefs
that impact your treatment decisions; what is most important; what quality
of life means to you
Coordinate your care with all of your health care providers
Complete Advanced Care Planning to ensure that people receive medical care that is
consistent with their values, goals and preferences during serious and chronic illness
All patients with serious illness, regardless of prognosis, disease stage or treatment choice.
Patients don’t have to choose between treatment for their illness and palliative care;
they can have both!