The URMC Palliative Care Program is devoted to caring for the seriously ill by:
- Providing relief from pain and other physical symptoms;
- Improving quality of life;
- Providing support to the seriously ill and the family and friends who love and care for them;
- Assisting the patient, family and staff with difficult medical decision-making.
With palliative care, patients have access to the best possible options for managing their specific symptoms. Our specialists meet with patients and their families to discuss their goals for treatment. We consider the illness as well as each individual’s personal values and priorities. Services are delivered in collaboration and close communication with the patient, family, physicians, and health care team. All share the common goal of providing compassion, support, and comfort to the patient.
Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness, even from the time of diagnosis. And, it may be given at the same time as curative treatment. Hospice care also provides palliative care, but it is focused on patients who no longer seek treatments to cure them and who are expected to live for about six months or less.
Who Can Benefit
All adult and pediatric patients with a serious illness are eligible to receive palliative care. For most patients, palliative care complements the active treatments they receive for their underlying illness.
Some of the indications that palliative care might be beneficial include:
- Pain and severe discomfort requiring symptom management;
- Psychosocial, emotional, and/or spiritual distress;
- Uncertainty about treatment options, goals of care or simply navigating the healthcare system;
- Need for coordination of care.
Requests for Palliative Care
A patient, family member, or any health care professional working with the patient may ask the physician responsible for the patient’s care to request a palliative care consultation. Patients and those caring for them often welcome the support and strength that a consultation provides.