Palliative Care at Hamilton Health Sciences

 


Palliative care is a concept of care rather than a place.  It is an approach to caring aimed at relieving suffering and improving the quality of life of patients facing life-threatening illnesses or life limiting chronic conditions for which there is not a cure.  Palliative care services are directed to patients and their families / circle of supporters and respects that everyone approaches death from their own unique perspective based upon their individual values, spiritual beliefs, cultural roots, family dynamics and life experiences. Palliative Care is active care which focuses on maintaining the quality of life, comfort, autonomy and dignity of each patient through the prevention, assessment and management of potentially distressing symptoms.  Palliative care can be provided in all phases of illness, from early in the course of illness to bereavement. It is recommended that patients begin receiving palliative care support as early as possible, even at the time of diagnosis.

Palliative Care:

  • Provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • Intends neither to hasten nor postpone death;
  • Integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • Offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
  • Offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement;
  • Uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counseling, if indicated;
  • Will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;

The focus of care may change with the addition or continuation of  some treatments and may mean stopping other forms of treatment.

At HHS we have a number of palliative care resources to support our patients, families, staff and physicians with.  For resources specific to our various sites please clink on the links below or see tab to the left. 

Please refer to each individual hospital tab on the right for further information about services provided at each Hamilton Health Sciences site.