The goal of palliative care is to provide therapy that is curative, disease modifying or offers comfort to patients with life-limiting illnesses, allowing patients to maintain the highest possible quality of life.
The word "palliative" (pronounced "PAL-ee-uh-tihv") comes from the word "palliate," which means "to ease or comfort." Palliative care, though often thought to be synonymous with hospice care, is quite different. Hospice care is offered to patients with imminently terminal conditions, whereas palliative care is intended for patients with chronic and/or terminal illnesses. It focuses on controlling symptoms of illnesses, while enhancing comfort and quality of life.
At Baptist Health, palliative care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team whose only goal is to make you more comfortable – medically, emotionally and spiritually. We’ll help you manage your pain and symptoms, arrange for community resources and pray with you and your loved ones.
Your Baptist Health Palliative Care Team
Your Baptist Health palliative care team may include:
- Chaplains, to help you observe your religious practices regardless of affiliation or non-affiliation.
- Medical social workers, to help arrange community resources and adjust to the emotional, social and personal changes while you’re receiving care.
- Palliative medicine physicians, to help manage the pain and symptoms associated with your illness.
We’ll also help guide you through the process of writing an advance directive, an important document in which you outline your specific wishes regarding care.
You can receive palliative care on an inpatient basis at any stage in your serious illness, and may still receive curative treatment. You do not need a specific diagnosis, nor to be terminal.