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You already have a primary care physician and, perhaps, a team of specialists who are treating your illness. Palliative care works with your other doctors to provide an added focus - a focus on providing relief from the symptoms of serious or advanced illness, whatever the diagnosis. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family facing serious or advanced illness.

Palliative Care Maintains Quality Of Life
Palliative care is not the same as hospice; adding the palliative care doctor to your team doesn’t mean you and your doctors are giving up. Palliative care can be used at any stage of a serious or advanced illness, including during treatment, to address your symptoms and the physical, mental, and spiritual stressors that are weighing on you and your family. The goal of palliative care is to maintain quality of life for as long as possible, through the management of pain, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, and other symptoms. If a patient has a serious illness and needs comfort care at any stage, DCH Palliative Care is here for you. We offer a team of experts to help, including nurses, social workers, chaplains, registered dietitians, case managers, and your primary physician.

What Is Palliative Care?
The goal of palliative care is to help patients dealing with serious illnesses feel better and have a better quality of life. This is done through comprehensive treatment of symptoms, both from illness and from side effects of medical treatment. Palliative care involves preventing and alleviating suffering. It helps patients of any age, and at any stage of serious illness, and their loved ones, cope with the stress that often accompanies a major disease or disorder. Palliative care helps reduce the physical symptoms of serious illness, but it also focuses on providing psychological and spiritual support. The DCH Palliative Care team believes in a broad-based approach to comfort care, supported by our team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists. We want to provide an extra layer of support for our patients.

Who Benefits From Palliative Care?
Palliative care may be offered for people with illnesses such as:
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Lung Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Failure
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Multiple Sclerosis ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
In addition to those with the conditions listed above, anyone with a serious illness who is dealing with symptoms that affect quality of life can benefit from palliative care. Those who need additional support during treatment for illness may benefit as well.

When Can Palliative Care Be Received?
Palliative care can be received at any stage of a patient’s illness and can be administered while a patient is undergoing treatment to cure the disease.

How Do I Get A Referral To DCH Palliative Care?
To begin palliative care, ask your doctor for a referral. Neurologists, neurosurgeons, pulmonologists, hospitalists, and oncologists can all refer patients to DCH Palliative Care. The program is led by Medical Director Dr. John Miller.

Where Can I Get More Information?

DCH Palliative Care is committed to providing the highest quality, personalized care for patients coping with advanced illness. Ask your doctor if DCH Palliative Care is right for you. Any registered nurse on your care team can also help put you in touch with the palliative care team.