Palliative care is holistic, person-centered care that addresses symptoms, psychosocial and spiritual needs of individuals living with life-limiting illnesses.
What does palliative care do?
Palliative care aims to achieve the best quality of life for individuals and their families who are facing life-limiting or end-of-life issues.
It also provides pain and symptom management.
What is a palliative approach to care?
A palliative approach to care uses palliative care principles (e.g. dignity, quality of life, relief of suffering) for people facing chronic conditions.
These may include: cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and renal failure.
A palliative approach to care is part of primary health care. It helps improve an individual’s quality of life and their understanding of their illness, throughout their illness journey.
You may have additional questions about palliative care or a palliative approach to care. The following information has been put together to help you and your family.
How do I know if need I a palliative approach to care?
People living with a serious illness such as cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and renal failure may experience emotional or physical concerns related to their illness and may benefit from a palliative approach to care.
How does palliative care differ from other types of care?
Palliative care can be provided alongside other treatment options, including those intended to cure your condition. It is meant to enhance care by focusing on quality of life.
What is primary palliative care and who provides it?
Primary palliative care is provided by community care providers, such as community health nurses and primary health care providers (family doctors, nurse practitioners) for individuals with life-limiting illnesses.
What is specialized palliative care and who provides it?
Specialized palliative care is provided by a palliative care consult team for those that have a life expectancy of less than a year.
The consult team is made of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, spiritual health practitioners and pharmacists.
These teams addresses a person’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs in order to minimize symptoms and improve quality of life.
Palliative care consult teams also provides clinical support and consultation for primary health care providers, hospice and palliative complex care unit.
What is a palliative complex care unit?
Fraser Health Palliative Complex Care Units provide care to adults with acute, complex palliative needs that cannot be supported by primary health care providers.
Care provided focuses on improving quality of life and symptom control.
Units are located in Burnaby Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital and Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
Who is eligible for specialized palliative care services?
To receive specialized palliative care services, a person:
- Is 19 years or older
- Has a life expectancy of less than a year
- Is experiencing problems associated with a life-limiting illness or facing end-of-life issues
- Agrees to palliative care services
- Understands their treatment focuses on quality of life and not prolongation of life