Palliative Care services are available at Methodist Hospital for patients and their families.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Palliative Care as the following:
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
Palliative care services are designed to provide relief of symptoms that interfere with quality of life when treatments will not change the time course of the illness. It is the care given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease, in which the focus is on relieving rather than curing the symptoms. Palliative care can help people live their life more comfortably and focus on living until the end, not on the dying process.
Goals of Palliative Care
The main goals of palliative care include:
- To prevent or treat as early as possible the symptoms of the disease, side effects caused by treatment of the disease.
- To prevent or treat psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to the disease or its treatment.
- To help people with life-threatening disease to live more comfortably.
An interdisciplinary team of dedicated professionals in the professions of medicine, nursing, social work, and chaplaincy work together to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counseling, if needed. These dedicated team members are trained to help patients and families in a supportive environment incorporating psychosocial and spiritual care according to the patient and family needs, values, beliefs and cultures.
In addition, Palliative Care:
- Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
- Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
- Intends neither to hasten or postpone death;
- Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
- Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
- Offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement;
- Will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness.
For questions, or to request more information about the palliative care program at Methodist Hospital, please call (210) 575-4881.