What is Palliative Care?

There comes a time in many of our lives when we are faced with a serious illness, either directly or indirectly. It can be challenging to understand the different options for care: curative care, palliative care or hospice care.

Palliative care focuses on comfort and quality of life. It can be provided while seeking curative treatments and may be pursued at any time during the illness. Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals and their families living with serious illness.

BridgingLife’s palliative care team primarily cares for individuals who are experiencing a decrease in their quality of life due to their serious illness. This interdisciplinary care team—consisting of nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers and chaplains—collaborates and consults with the individual’s primary care provider and specialists to ensure the individual’s needs are being met throughout the illness. The palliative care team provides goals of care discussions, emotional and spiritual support, pain and symptom management, and identifies community resources that could benefit the individual.

When faced with a serious illness, knowing all available options is very important. Palliative care is an option that provides an extra layer of support for an individual living with serious illness and his or her family.

If you think you or a loved one could benefit from palliative care services, call BridgingLife at 410-871-8000 for more information.

Jenifer Garner, C.R.N.P., is the director of palliative care at BridgingLife.

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