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Palliative Care

Palliative Care in Tuscaloosa

Maintain Quality of Life & Relief from Pain

The goal of palliative care is to support patients with severe and/or advanced illnesses feel better and maintain quality of life for as long as possible. This is done through comprehensive treatment of symptoms, both from the illness itself and from side effects of medical treatments, such as the management of pain, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping and other symptoms. Because being diagnosed with an advanced illness can bring about mental or spiritual stressors as well, palliative care also focuses on providing psychological and spiritual support, which is why it is appropriate for ANY serious or advanced illness, no matter the diagnosis.

Palliative care also considers the patient and the family as part of the care team, so we work to help them communicate with their physicians to better understand their diseases and how they might progress. Patients and families face many difficult decisions about treatment options when they are living with serious illnesses and it can be overwhelming to fully understand what those options are and whether they are the right choices for them. With the palliative care team on board, patient’s and family’s goals are prioritized and supported when they are facing these major medical decisions, as the team can help them make sense of their illness experience.

Who Benefits from Palliative Care?

Palliative care may be especially helpful 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 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?

Adding the palliative care doctor to your team doesn’t mean you and your doctors are giving up. Palliative care can be provided 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. 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.

In addition to our medical director, nurse practitioner, and care coordinator, your DCH Palliative Care team includes YOU, YOUR FAMILY, and your primary medical team, to meet your various healthcare needs and to all work together to help you achieve your goals of care.

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