At Mid Coast Hospital, palliative
care specialists are available to assist health care
and social workers in relieving the pain and suffering
of their patients through our Palliative and Supportive
Palliative care is most important
for patients with advanced or serious illnesses. This
type of care helps patients manage a wide range of symptoms,
including pain, nausea, anxiety and shortness of breath.
The program also supports patients
emotionally and spiritually. Specially trained caregivers
help patients cope with personal and family issues, adjust
to new physical limitations and maintain a good quality
Palliative care specialists often
meet with patients, their healthcare teams and their
families to discuss the current medical situation and
what to expect in the future. They can help patients
and families with decisions that may need to be made,
are the patient’s
goals? How does the care plan fit with those goals?
- Where is the best place for
the patient to receive care?
- Has the patient written down
his or her wishes in a healthcare directive or living
will make decisions about the patient’s care
if he or she is unable to communicate?
The palliative care program encourages
patient and family involvement in care planning. Palliative
care specialists and the healthcare team can help families
identify the resources they need and discuss ways to
make this time as meaningful as possible.
Hospice care is one kind of
palliative care specifically for those in the last
six months of life. Palliative
care may begin at a much earlier stage, often
while doctors are aggressively treating a disease. This is called “supportive
care.”As individuals get closer to the end of life, they may choose to
move into hospice care. Hospice care will continue to relieve suffering and
focus on quality of life.
If you wish to create a palliative
care plan, ask your physician or nurse for more information.
Or call Mid
Coast Hospital’s Palliative and Supportive
Care Program at 373-6383.
team of interdisciplinary specialists is made up of Thomas
J. Keating, MD, left, medical oncologist and palliative
care physician; Debbie Demosthenes, BSN, RN, CRNH, palliative
care and hospice nurse; and Deb Alpern, LCSW, clinical
social worker, below. They are available to work with
your doctor and nurses to help you and your family.
palliative care team is supported by many other professionals
including nurses, social workers, chaplains, therapists,
pharmacists, and a nurse specialist in pain management.
- Hospital Consultation
- Palliative and Supportive Care
- Advance Care Planning
- Palliative Care Advisory Committee
- Pastoral Care Volunteers
- Community and Professional Education