Palliative Care

Special Care for the Seriously Ill

Palliative care is a medical specialty that focuses on the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of people with serious illness. The ultimate goal of palliative care is to reduce suffering, preserve dignity and improve quality of life for patients and their families.

Palliative Care is not Hospice

Hospice care is meant for people in the final months of life. Non-hospice palliative care, on the other hand, is available to you at any time during your illness while you’re in the hospital. Unlike hospice, you can also receive palliative care at the same time as curative treatments.

Palliative care experts are liaisons between the patient and family and doctors and nurses already caring for the patient.

Is Palliative Care Right for You?

  • You are currently a patient in the hospital
  • Have a serious illness such as heart failure, advanced lung disease, cancer, AIDS, liver or kidney problems, neurological disease or dementia
  • Have pain, nausea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, depression, anxiety or other distressing symptoms
  • Are seriously ill and facing questions about the future
  • Want help thinking through difficult medical decisions

With a physician order, palliative care is covered by insurance.

Coordination & Planning

The team can meet with you, your family and doctor to develop a plan that respects your values and personal choices.

  • Relief from symptoms including pain, nausea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, constipation, loss of appetite, numbness, problems with sleep, depression and anxiety
  • Strength to carry on with daily life
  • Improved ability to tolerate medical treatments
  • Better understanding of your condition and choices for medical care
  • Assistance and support in making difficult medical decisions
  • Help in making sure you are as comfortable and active as possible
  • Assistance in using spiritual resources to cope with illness
  • Assistance with your family issues such as difficult communications
  • Coping with the stress of a serious illness in your family

Palliative Care Coordinator

Abby Woods, FNP
618.457.5200 ext. 67161 | abby.woods@sih.net

“Palliative care helps to ensure that the treatment a patient receives is in line with their wishes.”

Begin Palliative Care Early

Palliative care can occur at the same time as all other treatment for your illness. It does not depend upon your prognosis. There is no need to wait; pain and other symptoms affect your quality of life, and the stress can have a big impact on your family. The palliative care team can help you and your family.