What is Palliative Care?
Article from getpalliativecare.org
Palliative care is provided by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment. Our blog post goes in depth about how palliative care is a part of good cancer care.
Improves Quality of Life
Palliative care treats people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiac disease such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and many more.
Palliative care focuses on symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and depression. It also helps you gain the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves your ability to tolerate medical treatments. And, it helps you have more control over your care by improving your understanding of your choices for treatment.
A Partnership of Patient, Specialists, and Family
Palliative care is a team approach to care. The core team includes doctor, nurse, and social work palliative care specialists. Massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, chaplains, and others may also be part of the team.
The team spends as much time as necessary with you and your family. They become a partner with you, your family, and your other doctors. They support you and your family every step of the way, not only by controlling your symptoms, but also by helping you to understand your treatment options and goals.
Talking to Your Doctor
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious illness, you may benefit from palliative care. Speak to your doctor and ask for it.
Local Palliative Care Providers
- Ascension Mercy Hospital and Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital: Bridget Huenink, APNP, (920) 738-2000
- ThedaCare: Dr. David Schiedermayer (920) 729-3021