What is Palliative Care?
Palliative Care Service extends throughout the hospital and is not limited to the palliative care unit on level 1 of the Janet MacDonnell Pavilion. Care will be provided to any inpatient no matter the location with the goal of eventually transferring to the palliative care unit. Palliative Care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering from diagnosis to end-of-life and bereavement (World Health Organization, 2009). This is done by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
End of Life Care is an important part of palliative care, and usually refers to the care of a person during the last part of their life, from the point at which it has become clear that the person is in a progressive state of decline.
Hospice Care is a special concept of care designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments (Hospice Foundation of America, 2009). Hospice care always provides palliative care and focuses on people who no longer seek treatments to cure them and who are expected to live for about six months or less.
When is Palliative Care Needed?
Palliative Care can help a patient at any stage of a terminal illness. A patient may need Palliative Care and support.
Palliative care has a number of benefits:
Palliative care helps your primary physician ensure the kind of responsive, patient-centered care that each one of us deserves when we are at our most vulnerable. It provides relief from symptoms including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, problems with sleep and many other symptoms. It can also help you cope with the medical treatments you’re receiving and improve your strength to carry on with daily life.
Focusing on communication in addition to pain and symptom management allows the palliative care team to explore patients’ values and goals. Patients facing serious illness today can live for years. This is why palliative care is necessary for those with serious, chronic illnesses who want to remain in control of their lives and care.
Cornwall Community Hospital Believes, Palliative Care:
- Affirms life and regards dying as a normal process.
- 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. In the hospital, palliative care is delivered by a team of experts, including palliative care doctors, nurses and social workers. Chaplains, pharmacists, nutritionists, volunteers and others may also be part of the team.
- Will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;
- Is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications.
- Benefits both patients and their families. Along with symptom management, communication and support for the family are the main goals. The team helps patients and families make medical decisions and choose treatments that are in line with their goals.
- It is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
About our Unit & Service
Cornwall Community Hospital provides palliative care, on the seven bed unit located on level 1 of the Janet MacDonnell Pavilion. Palliative care services however are offered throughout the hospital by our skilled professionals.
Professional care is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Families and caregivers are encouraged to participate in the care of the patient.
Patients and caregivers will decide who may visit at any time. Other visitors are welcome to the Hospital during visiting hours (daily from 11am to1 pm and from 4pm to 8 pm) with the consent of the patient.
Although visiting hours are not restricted, the staff do ask that the number of people are limited, ensuring that the patient has enough uninterrupted rest time
The palliative care team will focus on meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and their loved ones. The palliative team ensures that the patient is able to live fully until the end of their journey with dignity and in comfort, surrounded by a circle of support.
Palliative care coordinator
Community Care Access Centre
We are able to offer 24 & 48 hour passes for patients who wish to have time at home or a trial for possible discharge. During this pass the palliative care bed is held.
The family room was created in 1997 in memory of Dr. Deslauriers. The family room is located on level 1 of the Janet MacDonnell Pavilion and provides an area for families to gather. Family members are welcome to stay the night. The family room can accommodate additional family members. If patients desire food from home, there is a fridge where items may be kept. There is also a microwave available for warming foods. Coffee and tea is available at all times.
What if things change?
The concept of palliative care is fast becoming a reality of today’s health care system. The primary goal is to enhance the quality of one’s life regardless of duration. If a patients condition stabilizes and they are unable to return home, applications will need to be made to other facilities that can meet the patient’s needs. Our discharge planning staff will help you with these applications.
How Can I help?
Palliative Care Fund:
The palliative care fund has been able to finance special beds, lazy boy chairs, televisions, stereos, cots, etc… The fund also provides continuing education for our palliative care staff. Although there is no charge for any of the program, donations are welcome and much appreciated. The palliative care team is grateful for the ongoing donations to our unit. With the public’s financial support, we are able to update the needs of the unit and provide additional comfort for our patients and their families.