What is Palliative Care?
Many patients suffering from life-threatening medical conditions, such as cancer or AIDS, experience severe physical and psychological symptoms caused by medical treatment or the disease itself. These symptoms often will diminish a patient’s quality of life. Palliative care is a healthcare approach that is focused on the treatment of these symptoms. Combining pain and symptom management with spiritual and emotional support, palliative care works to alleviate symptoms of illnesses, but not to cure the illness itself.
Palliative care is administered from an interdisciplinary team of trained personnel. Physicians, social workers, chaplains, and nurses work together to provide each patient and their family with many types of care at any stage of illness. Support services included as a part of palliative care include, but are not limited to:
- Symptom management to help increase the patient’s comfort and quality of life
- Creating a support system for the patient and the patient’s family with the community, made up of other family members, friends, clergy, and service organizations
- Developing plans to manage caregiving duties, from the financial strains to the caregiving itself
- Helping with everyday activities, such as preparing meals and transportation
- Advice and counseling from medical professionals, which aims to help the patient and family members to get a better understanding of the patient’s medical condition and how to recognize potential life-threatening signs
- Emotional and spiritual support for the patient and family in dealing with the stressful aspects of serious illness
Riverside Community Hospital offers palliative care services to help patients in need achieve comfort, support, and improved quality of life. You can learn more about our comprehensive palliative care services by contacting us at (951) 788-3000.