Palliative care refers to any type of care that is focused on preventing and/or relieving suffering and optimizing the best quality of life in people who have a serious, and at times life-limiting, illness. Palliative care involvement should start at the time of diagnosis. It emphasizes interdisciplinary communication and coordination of care appropriate to goals defined by the patient.
The Capital Health Palliative Care Team offers a collaborative approach involving multiple disciplines within the hospital setting, including but not limited to physicians, nurses and case management. Because the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness has symptoms extending beyond physical pain, the team also provides support for the emotional, spiritual and social distress of the patient and family.
Patients and families can expect assistance with understanding their illness and treatments. The Capital Health Palliative Care Team supports all those involved in developing a plan for dealing with their difficult health crisis. Additionally, symptom management is a major focus of palliative care and those include pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, restlessness and gastrointestinal disturbances.