Special Care for the Seriously Ill
Supportive care is a medical specialty that focuses on the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of people with serious illness. The ultimate goal of supportive care is to reduce suffering, preserve dignity and improve quality of life for patients and their families.
Supportive Care is not Hospice
Hospice care is meant for people in the final months of life. Non-hospice supportive care, on the other hand, is available to you at any time during your illness. Unlike hospice, you can also receive supportive care at the same time as curative treatments.
Supportive care experts are liaisons between the patient and family and doctors and nurses already caring for the patient.
Is Supportive 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, supportive 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 related to your serious illness
- 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