If you have a serious or life-threatening illness, you may benefit from palliative care at Temple Health. Palliative care is a branch of medicine designed to manage your symptoms, help you understand your treatment options and help you determine your treatment goals. We can also help you communicate your wishes to other members of your medical team.
The overall goal of palliative care is to improve your quality of life at any point in your health care journey, whether you are going through treatment for a serious illness, have just completed treatment or have decided to stop medical interventions altogether. Your palliative care team can help you address the physical, mental, emotional, financial, occupational and transportation concerns that can arise during ongoing medical treatment.
The Difference Between Palliative Care & End-of-Life Care
A common misconception about palliative care is that it is only implemented for end-of-life care. While end-of-life care can include palliative care, palliative care can be used to support and enhance curative treatment as well.
Palliative care is provided in combination with other medical treatments and focuses on improving a person’s quality of life. If you elect to receive palliative care, it does not mean you must stop treatment for your illness. You can request palliative care regardless of your prognosis if you would like assistance with managing your symptoms, communicating with your medical team and determining your treatment goals.
Palliative care can be beneficial if you have one of the following conditions:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Heart disease
- Lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD)
- Parkinson’s disease
The purpose of palliative care is to support your wishes and to improve your symptoms and quality of life. Palliative care can be provided in a hospital, nursing home, patient’s home or outpatient clinic.
Palliative care can address the troublesome symptoms associated with a serious illness, such as:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Shortness of breath
Palliative care treatments can include:
- Integrative therapies
- Mental health care referrals
- Nutrition counseling
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Spiritual support
- Support groups
Your palliative care team can also connect you with resources for:
- Financial counseling
A Multidisciplinary Approach
Our multidisciplinary team of palliative specialists collaborates to customize your care according to your goals and wishes. Our understanding of the complex problems associated with serious illnesses helps you receive the most appropriate and latest treatments.
Temple Health’s palliative care program provides patients and families with advice on treatment as well as guidance and support through difficult medical decisions.
We provide services to all inpatient hospital teams and are available for all patients no matter the stage of their illness. The program also assists physicians who require support when discussing difficult situations with patients and families.