Palliative care is a medical specialty focused on relieving the severity of symptoms and stress associated with serious illness. The focus of treatment is to ease suffering, promote comfort and improve quality of life.
Palliative care differs from hospice care in that it can be provided at any time, regardless of the patient's life expectancy, and can be administered while the patient continues to receive curative and life-prolonging therapies. One of the important goals of palliative care is to improve symptom management and quality of life which can, in turn, lessen repeat hospital visits.
In keeping with our mission, Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County's palliative care program is patient-centered and family-focused, providing compassionate comfort care and symptom management aimed at improving quality of life. We work closely with patients as well as their families and primary care physicians to help determine the goals of care. Our staff is also available to provide information and support regarding end-of-life decisions.
Our palliative care team – which includes physicians, nurse practitioners and social workers – not only addresses the physical needs of the patient but also attends to the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and their loved ones. This team educates the patient and family on pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions and therapies that promote comfort and emotional well-being.
HPCIC can provide palliative consultations and care in a wide range of settings, including the patient's home, assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, and hospitals.
Palliative care is appropriate for anyone with a chronic, life-limiting or life-threatening illness who is experiencing uncontrolled symptoms caused by the disease itself or as a side-effect from current treatment. This type of care is particularly well-suited to patients with conditions that have complex symptom management needs such as those with Alzheimer's, CHF, COPD, cancer or renal failure.
In addition, palliative care can be provided in conjunction with home health services and aggressive treatment plans regardless of the patient's diagnosis, prognosis or age.
Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County's palliative care team can assist patients and their families with needs associated with a serious illness and related to:
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