February 17th, 2012

Great River Palliative Care will begin Monday, Feb. 20. Palliative Care improves quality of life for patients and their families, and complements attending physicians' care as a consultative service. It is appropriate for patients in any stage of a serious illness, and it can be combined with curative treatments and therapies. It is not hospice care, which is for the final months of life.

The Palliative Care team comprises physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other professionals. They:

  • Coordinate care to improve communication
  • Manage pain and other symptoms
  • Offer counseling and education
  • Provide guidance and support with decision making

Palliative Care services are appropriate for patients who:

  • Need help understanding treatment options and making difficult choices
  • Have unacceptable levels of pain or other symptoms associated with cancer, advanced heart, liver, lung, or kidney disease, diabetes, dementia and other diagnoses
  • Frequently visit a physician clinic, emergency department or hospital for the same diagnosis
  • Have prolonged hospital stays without showing improvement

For more information about Great River Palliative Care, please call 319-768-3375.