Palliative care is defined as, “specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness —whatever the diagnosis.” Palliative Care is different from hospice care. With hospice care the person has to be terminal. With Palliative Care the person does not have to be dying. With Palliative Care the goal is to improve the quality of life for the person and his or her family.
By its very nature, palliative care is person-centered. In order to provide Palliative Care, all care partners must understand how the illness is affecting the person physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Palliative Care includes the family and helps the family cope and support their loved one. The relationships that develop between all care partners, including the individual who is living with a serious or life-limiting illness, are the key to Palliative Care. Meaningful relationships are what Person-Centered Care is all about. How are you and your organization introducing and integrating Palliative Care for the residents and families that you serve?