What is Palliative Care?
People usually think palliative care is only for those in the final stages of life. In reality, it's much more. The word "palliate" means to ease or relieve; to make less intense or severe. Palliative care, then, can be seen as supportive care. It's for anyone with a serious advanced condition or someone facing a life-limiting illness such as cancer, heart failure, emphysema, or other similar conditions.
If you're already receiving care for a serious advanced illness, you'll continue to receive medical treatment from your health care team. You can also take heart in knowing that we'll provide palliative care to help you:
Fully understand your illness and treatment choices. Your care team may ask you how your illness is affecting your emotions and spirit to help you decide what treatment you want or don't want.
Improve your comfort, strength, and well-being. This may include relief from pain, respiratory problems, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, or fatigue.
Develop a plan for your future personal needs and care so that every member of your care team, including your family, understands and respects your wishes.
Complete an advance health care directive so that your family and medical team work as partners to support you should you become unable to speak for yourself.
We believe palliative care is about helping your life to have the highest quality of life possible and caring for you with your values and wishes in mind.
Hayward Palliative Care Team
Palliative Care Involves:
- Pain and symptom management
- Addressing patient's emotional and spiritual pain
- Increasing patient's sense of control
- Avoiding inappropriate prolongation of dying
- Helping patients and families articulate clear goals for care
Patients and families may ask anyone on their health care team for a referral to Palliative Care. Team members include their doctors, nurses, social worker, and interfaith chaplain.