What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is patient and family-centered care, provided by physicians, nurse practitioners, for those facing serious and chronic illnesses. Palliative care involves addressing physical, emotional, and social needs to help patient autonomy, access to information and choice. Palliative care also focuses on providing relief from symptoms and stresses of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and families.

Patients served are those facing serious or chronic illnesses and in need of an additional layer of medical support. An initial meeting with a Noble nurse provider, where goals of care conversations are provided. Palliative care aims to improve quality of life for people suffering from chronic or life-threatening illnesses by relieving the patient’s pain and other symptoms and addressing the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs.

Helping the patient and their family understand the disease and diagnosis. Palliative care is sometimes confused with hospice care. That is because hospice services also focus on maintaining the patient’s comfort and relieving symptoms. However, hospice care is only available to terminally ill patients expected to live six months or less and does not allow for any curative drugs or therapies.

Palliative symptom management services include:

Pain, Neuropathy, Nausea/poor appetite, Anxiety/depression, Shortness of breath, Weakness, Fatigue, Delirium, Constipation.

Some of the common diagnoses includes:

Cancer, Congestive Heart Failure (CHF), Cirrhosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Renal Disease, Dementia, HIV/AIDS, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Stroke, Degenerative Nervous System Diseases including, Huntington’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

When is the right time to refer a patient to Noble Palliative care?

Patient sees three or more specialists, undesired weight loss, fatigue, declining function, including increased falls and/or declining ability to complete day-to-day chores, oxygen dependency, discontinuation of dialysis, more than two hospitalizations for the same condition in past year, Patient or family requests palliative consult