What is Palliative Medicine?
Palliative care is patient- and family-centered, provided by physicians and nurse practitioners, for those facing serious and chronic illnesses. Palliative care involves addressing physical, emotional and social needs. Palliative care also focuses on providing relief from symptoms and stresses of a serious illness.
The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and families. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.
Symptom Management Services:
Symptom management services include:
- Nausea/poor appetite
- Shortness of breath
When Is the Right Time to Refer a Patient?
- Patient sees three or more specialists
- Undesired weight loss
- Declining function, including increased falls and/or declining ability to complete day-to-day chores
- Oxygen dependency
- Discontinuation of dialysis
- More than two hospitalizations for the same condition in past year
- Patient or family requests palliative consult
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Renal Disease
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
- Degenerative Nervous System Diseases including:
- Huntington’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Palliative Care Team
Benefits of Referral
"You didn’t just check items off a list. You truly cared for him, and me, while I was there."
- The earlier the patient and family are seen, the sooner our palliative care team can begin to provide additional support, manage symptoms and work toward goals.
- Goals of care conversations can help patients and families in the next steps in their journey
- Collaboration between the referring physician and Stillwater Hospice’s team helps develop a cohesive treatment plan.
- Quality of life is improved and emotional distress is reduced with the involvement of Stillwater Hospice providers.