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Palliative Care

The SMHC Palliative Care Program provides care and support to individuals who are facing a serious or life-limiting illness such as:
•   Advanced cancer
•   Lung disease
•   Heart disease
•   Kidney disease
•   Nervous system diseases such as ALS
•   Advanced memory loss such as Alzheimer's disease

We can provide palliative care during any part of a worsening illness, including while medicine or therapy is being given.

What is palliative care?
Palliative care (pronounced PAL ee ha tiv) is patient and family-centered medical care focused on relief of the pain, signs of sickness and stress caused by serious illness. Our team of palliative care specialists will help you cope with and ease the signs of illness, including:
•    Fear or worry
•    Sadness
•    Breathing problems
•    Constipation
•    Diarrhea
•    Feeling tired
•    Not feeling hungry
•    Mouth sores
•    Feeling sick to your stomach
•    Pain

We help patients live well. Our goal is to provide the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.

The Palliative Care Team
Our team of specially trained experts includes:
•   Doctors
•   Nurses
•   Case Managers
•   Social Workers
•   Pharmacists
•   Physical, Occupational & Respiratory Therapists
•   Dietitians
•   Pastoral Care Providers

We can also help with:
•    Managing your healthcare needs and future wishes
•    Making your medical care easier to cope with
•    Making sure you know about your illness and your choices for medical care
•    Helping you, your doctors and your loved ones talk with each other
•    Giving emotional support for you and your family

Who can benefit from Palliative Care?
Palliative care is for everyone with a serious illness that keeps them from living as well as possible. Many patients continue to get healing therapy while receiving palliative care.

What questions will the palliative care team ask?
Because we focus on helping patients live as well as possible, we may ask:
•    Do you have any signs of illness that are bothering you right now?
•    What gives meaning to your life?
•    How would you like to spend your time among work, school, family, hobbies and other  activities?
•    How can we help you and your family cope with the changes caused by your illness?
•    Do you have a Health Power of Attorney, Living Will or Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)?

How is palliative care different from hospice?
Palliative care is right at any time during a serious illness. Hospice care is for those coming near the last stages of life.

How can I get palliative care services?
To begin getting palliative care, please ask your doctor for a referral. We can help whether you are in the hospital, another health care setting or at home.

How is palliative care paid for?
Palliative care is often covered by insurance and government programs.

For more information about SMHC’s palliative care services call (207) 294-8791.

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