Palliative care, often referred to as comfort care, focuses on making the patients comfortable during their illness. A primary goal of palliative care is pain and other symptom management to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve the quality of life for patients with debilitating chronic disease or life-threatening illness.
Those who may benefit from the palliative care program include:
- Patients of any age, including children, with debilitating chronic disease or life-threatening illness, at any stage of the diagnosis.
- Patients with life-limiting illness experiencing unresolved symptoms such as pain or shortness of breath.
- Patients who have had frequent hospital admissions or emergency room visits to manage shortness of breath, swelling, confusion or other complex symptoms.
- Patients seeking aggressive treatments to alleviate the side effects and help them to better tolerate ongoing treatments.
- Chronically ill patients and their families who are not yet ready to accept hospice care
Those receiving palliative care can expect:
- Care from expert registered nurses who specialize in pain and symptom management.
- Routine home care services, including skilled nursing care and rehabilitative therapies (physical, occupational and/or speech).
- Counseling for patient and family members around anticipatory grief, dealing with the difficulties of treatment and similar issues.
- Education and support regarding end of life planning and advance directives.
Please note: Palliative Care falls under the Home Health Care benefit for most insurance coverage.
For more information or to make a referral, please call 800-249-8298.
Making a referral for palliative care is easy - simply call the same Baystate VNA & Hospice referral line you usually do. Intake staff in hospice and in home care are equally able to help you, as are Baystate VNA & Hospice's nurse liaisons. Please contact us at 413-794-6411