Palliative Care: Managing Symptoms, Alleviating Pain, Offering Support
Palliative care enhances medical treatment to help patients with serious, chronic or incurable illness experience the highest quality of life possible. Valley Health System’s Inpatient and Outpatient Palliative Care Programs combine the expertise and services of The Valley Hospital, Valley Home Care and Valley Medical Group to support patients with serious illnesses and their families.
Living with a serious, chronic or incurable illness presents challenges for patients and their families. Palliative care is an option for patients who are seeking to supplement their medical treatment with a care plan designed to enhance their quality of life. The main goals of palliative care are comfort, support and easing the burden of illness on both patients and their families. Patients who can benefit from palliative care include those living with congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), advanced cancer, multiple sclerosis, kidney failure, neurological disorders (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), and patients with other serious illnesses.
Valley’s palliative care services take an integrative team approach to care, focusing on preventing or relieving pain and other physical, emotional or spiritual distress that can accompany serious illness. Palliative care brings together a range of resources and is designed to work in partnership with each patient’s primary care physician to ensure comprehensive, coordinated care that is culturally diverse and sensitive to patients’ personal beliefs. Valley’s palliative care team helps patients and families:
make medical decisions;
choose the best treatment options;
plan care that reflects the patient’s goals, values and preferences;
receive reliable information; and
manage distressing symptoms, such as pain, shortness of breath, delirium, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, anxiety, depression and difficulty sleeping.