Palliative Care Unit
Palliative Care Unit
Palliative Care is a unique area of health care that focuses on the enhancement of quality of life in patients with a life-limiting illness. The goal of palliative care is to provide a holistic approach to patient care through pain and symptom management, as well as psychological, spiritual and social support. The team provides care for both the patient and the family together throughout the patient’s experience at the hospital. The overall focus of care and treatments are not curative, rather they are aimed at maximizing quality of life
The Palliative Care Unit has six single rooms that provide privacy and comfort with garden views. The space features a lounge, sleep room, pantry and shower facilities for family. The average length of stay is three weeks.
The well planned and designed space, together with the provision of caring and compassionate programs, help to provide patients and their families with the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual support they need.
Patients and their families can expect to:
- Be well informed and actively involved in decision making
- Have pain and other symptoms managed
- Participate in care as much as is comfortable
- Feel welcome and comfortable within the surroundings of our facility
Visiting hours for palliative care patients are not restricted. Children are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Palliative care is based on:
- Highly developed medical expertise in pain and symptom management
- Timely, responsive, patient-centered communications
- Interdisciplinary treatment
Frequently Asked Questions
What is hospice care?
The terms palliative care and hospice care are often used interchangeably. Palliative care is a unique service. It is for any person who is suffering from a terminal illness and who needs supportive care to manage the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual symptoms being experienced. The goal of palliative care is to provide competent and compassionate care for persons diagnosed with a life-limiting illness when curative treatment is no longer possible.
- Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process
- Neither hastens nor postpones death
- Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
- Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of care
- Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death
- Offers a support system to help family members/significant others cope during the patient's illness and through their own bereavement
When should a person consider Palliative Care?
Some elements of palliative care may be needed early; for example, upon diagnosis of a life-limiting illness - a time when apprehension and uncertainty can cause much suffering. The services often include information and supportive care. When curative treatment is no longer possible, palliative pare professionals help a terminally ill or chronically ill person live as fully as possible, treasuring the moment of each day, and knowing that the pain and other symptoms of advanced disease can be relieved.
What types of palliative care services are available?
The type of care provided depends on the individual’s personal needs, disease and symptoms. If the patient is able, many family members prefer to care for their loved one at home with the support of community agencies. Others may need the special services and equipment of a hospital. The type of palliative service is a decision shared among the patient, the family, and healthcare professionals. The Palliative Care Community Team (PCCT), through Community Care Health and Care Network’s Hospice Services, provides supports within the community and smooth transitions for patients to the palliative unit.
What role does the family play in palliative care?
The Palliative Care Team is attentive in taking family concerns into consideration. Family members and/or close friends are considered part of the team and are actively involved. This enables families to assist their loved one in making informed decisions about treatment and care. Everyone works together to help make the patient comfortable and to relieve suffering.
What is available in our community?
Community Care Health and Care Network’s Hospice Service also provides palliative care services. The agency works closely with the patient and family to provide a healthy support network. The range of services includes in-home respite and support to patients and families, as well as bereavement support. The staff also works with the caregivers at Ross Memorial Hospital to provide in-hospital care to patients and families, as well as support for hospital staff. The Palliative Care Community Team provides community support through linkages with nursing, physicians and spiritual supports to patients and families. It has strong linkages to the Palliative Care Unit at the hospital.
Who can make a referral?
Self-referrals are welcome. Referrals can be accepted with the approval of those involved, from physicians, nurse practitioners, health care professionals, community agencies, families and friends.
Does Community Care Hospice Services provide other support?
Community Care Hospice Services has an up-to-date library of books, tapes and videos that can be borrowed free of charge. Topics range from caregiver support to grief and bereavement. Staff and volunteers are able to assist you. They also provide displays and speakers to heighten community awareness of supports offered by Hospice Services to ease the journey through critical illness and grief.