Using palliative care can help when the patient needs answers, relief, expertise and support when facing a serious or chronic illness. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of illness, and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Why Use Palliative Care?
Palliative care is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Patients have a range of diseases and respond differently to treatment options. A key benefit of palliative care is that an individualized plan of care is created to meet the needs of each patient – across the lifespan and throughout the continuum of care. Overall, palliative care offers patients the best possible quality of life during their illness by creating an individualized plan of care.
An Individualized Plan of Care
The individualized plan of care will include physical, psychosocial and spiritual components. It aims to address distressing symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping. Alleviating or relieving these symptoms can help patients tolerate medical treatments. Another key component of the plan of care is helping patients and their families understand their medical choices and choose options that are in congruence with their wishes.
Palliative care helps our patients take a “big picture” look at their medical conditions, map out possible options and appropriately match their care plans with their personal values.
Requesting a Consultation
Patients or their loved ones can ask their attending physician for a palliative care consultation during their hospital stay. Or the palliative care team can be reached directly at 410-787-4581. The team is available for consults and visits Monday through Friday to meet with patients and their families.
We also offer outpatient palliative medicine to our patients who are receiving cancer treatment at the Tate Cancer Center. Learn more about palliative care for cancer patients.