WHAT PALLIATIVE CARE IS
Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care that focuses on relief of the symptoms and stress of serious illness. The goal is to prevent and ease suffering and to improve quality of life for patients and their families. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and any stage of an illness. And, it can be provided at the same time as curative treatment. This specialized care is aimed at relieving suffering and helping individuals and their families understand all possible treatment options, with special emphasis on managing the pain or symptoms that may accompany serious illness. Palliative care helps the patient and family express their wishes and goals for the course of the disease. Once the goals and wishes are determined, the team provides support and guidance in reaching the goals.
The role of the palliative care team is to facilitate communication and understanding among the patient, family and providers of care, with the hope that the person and family will experience the highest possible satisfaction with the care they receive.
Symptom management, which is a primary goal of palliative care, focuses on relieving pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, fatigue, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping that many times go along with disease or treatments to cure the disease. It has been shown that when these distressing symptoms are managed, it’s more likely that the course of treatment will be completed.
Palliative care may be provided at any stage of the illness and at the same time as curative treatments.
Palliative Care of Northwest Kansas extends our heartfelt appreciation to the Dane G. Hansen Foundation for supporting this project during its initial three years.