Palliative Care

Pain and Symptom Management

If you have a life-limiting illness such as heart or lung disease, dementia or cancer, our palliative care program offers you a specialized treatment option that combines advanced management of pain and symptoms, with enhanced quality of life for you and your family.

Our goal is to optimize your quality of life because every moment matters.

Quality of Life at the End of Life

The term “palliative care” refers to any care that alleviates symptoms, even if there is hope of a cure by other means. It is an approach that focuses on the relief of pain, symptoms, and emotional stress brought on by serious illness.

Palliative care is the general term given to end-of-life care that focuses on patient comfort rather than recovery- when getting better is no longer an option. A palliative care plan will try to ensure that the patient suffers as little as possible and is allowed to reach the end of their life with minimum pain and suffering, and with as much dignity as possible.

Research published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that terminally-ill patients who received hospice care lived on average 29 days longer than those who did not opt for hospice near the end of life. 

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

The Goals of Palliative Care

Palliative care is a broader philosophy that includes hospice care. As with hospice care, palliative care aims to improve quality of life from every different angle.

It can include the following goals:

  • To keep pain to a minimum, using clinical methods.
  • To treat symptoms and improve health where possible.
  • To assist with mobility and safety.
  • To allow meaningful interactions between patients and their friends, family, and community.
  • To improve spiritual and emotional well-being through counselling, art and pet therapy programs, and more.
  • To allow both patients and caregivers to understand and express their feelings at this most difficult of times.
  • To ensure patients and caregivers understand what is happening and make informed, well-thought-through choices.
  • To help reduce the sometimes heavy burden on caregivers through training, respite care or everyday hands-on assistance.

In order to be as effective as possible, palliative care should start early in the care program- often, the earlier we can start, the more we can help. Making firm plans for care in advance can also help reduce worry and stress.

 

If you or someone you care about might benefit from palliative care and you want to understand the options, talk to us. We are here for you.