Understanding Palliative Care

Understanding Palliative Care

Pathways Palliative Care is a unique service that provides comfort to individuals dealing with chronic serious illnesses who are not eligible or do not choose hospice care. Unlike hospice, palliative care may be provided at any time during a serious illness and may be used in conjunction with curative treatments. Our palliative care team provides an extra layer of support by focusing on symptom management, educating about the illness and assisting with decisions about future care.

Comfort for the body, mind and spirit...

Pathways Palliative Care does not replace current medical care. Rather, it is a speciality consultative service provided by nurse practitioners to address many aspects of care relating to serious illness and occurs in consultation with the primary care physician. Visits to the patients home, nursing home, assisted or independent living occur as needed based on medical necessity.

For those with pain or other discomfort, an assessment is completed and recommendations are made to reduce uncontrolled symptoms and improve quality of life in accordance with patient wishes.

In addition to the relief of pain and symptoms, our nurse practitioners help patients and families understand the illness; review healthcare choices and assist with planning for future care to ensure that personal values and decisions are respected.

Our holistic team also includes social workers and chaplains to provide emotional and spiritual support and assistance with personal and community resources as needed. Our massage therapists and healing touch providers are available as needed for the relief of symptoms.

Our holistic approach includes:

  • Physical examination

  • Review of medications

  • Recommendations for treatment

  • Education about current stage of illness

  • Review of healthcare choices

  • Planning for future care