St. Joseph Health System
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Palliative and Supportive Care

Improving Quality of Life During Serious Illness
Having a family member or loved one diagnosed with a long term chronic or terminal illness can be a stressful time. Not knowing what to expect and feeling fearful are common. For some patients, the Palliative (pal-lee-uh-tiv) and Supportive Care Team is an appropriate resource and your doctor may consult the team. Giving support and information are important in providing quality care. Call (979) 776-2970 for more information.

The Palliative and Supportive Care Team
We understand the difficulties patients and families face when making decisions. Our team is here to help with these decisions and coordinate a plan of care. Our team is led by a specially trained doctor who will help direct the care focusing on symptoms and responses to treatments. The doctor is assisted by trained nurses, chaplains, social workers, pharmacists and other therapists. The team will work closely with your attending doctor and complement your medical care.

Benefits of Palliative Care
By treating the patient and family as a unit, we are better able to manage physical, emotional and spiritual needs. This approach helps us maximize quality of life and assist patients and families in achieving their goals. The Palliative and Supportive Care Team will listen to hopes, wishes, values and goals of care for the patient and your family. This may include talking about:

  • Current symptoms and treatments
  • Decisions about life-sustaining measures
  • Plans for a changing condition
  • Arrangements for post-hospital care

Palliative Care Can Be Very Effective
Palliative care ensures that care is more in line with patients' wishes while meeting their emotional and spiritual needs. Patients who receive palliative care often report improvement in:

  • Pain and other distressing symptoms, such as nausea or shortness of breath
  • Communications with health care providers and family members
  • Emotional support

When to Consider Palliative Care
Many adults and children living with illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease and kidney failure, among others, experience physical symptoms and emotional distress related to their diseases. Sometimes these symptoms are related to the medical treatments they are receiving. You may want to consider palliative care if you or your loved one:

  • Suffers from pain or other symptoms due to any serious illness
  • Experiences physical or emotional pain that is not under control
  • Needs help understanding the situation and coordinating care

Our Goal
When you or a family member is faced with difficult life decisions or a chronic and/or terminal illness, our team is here to help. Our goal is to provide palliative and supportive care that optimizes quality of life. Palliative care is offered and provided through the continuum of a chronic and/or terminal illness addressing physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs to prevent and treat suffering while giving the patient a choice.

Palliative Care is Different From Hospice Care
Hospice care focuses on a person's final months of life, while palliative care is available at any time during an illness. A patient can receive palliative care while going through treatments that are meant to cure an illness. Its availability does not depend upon whether or not the person's condition can be cured.

Call (979) 776-2970 for more information.

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A Ministry of Sylvania Franciscan Health