Support for Chronic Illness
Posted on 01/20/2015
Palliative care is an effective, holistic, multi-disciplinary approach which includes specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. Its focus is to provide relief from the chronic symptoms, pain, and stress regardless of the diagnosis. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage and can be provided along with curative treatment. Palliative care is support for patients with any serious illness who have physical, psychological, social, or spiritual distress as a result of the treatment they are seeking or receiving. It can increase the quality of life and lengthen the patient’s life. It is not hospice, and is not reserved for patients at the end-of-life.
Hospice Brazos Valley is delivering this type of care through a partnership with Texas A&M Physicians. Brazos Valley Palliative Care is a consulting service and works in conjunction with home health or curative treatments. It’s a new program focused on creating a sustainable model for a physician lead, out-patient, community palliative care program.
The Goals of Palliative Care
BVPC strives not only to provide care to the patient and family, but to other healthcare providers in the community. This is achieved through reduced hospital and ER admissions, reduced physician office phone calls, medication management, coordinated care, alleviation of crisis situations and assisted decision making. While palliative care offers a broad range of services, the goals of palliative treatment are concrete: relief from suffering, treatment of pain and other distressing symptoms, psychological and spiritual care, and a support system to help the individual live as actively as possible and to nurture and sustain the individual’s family.
Today, patients with cancer, heart disease, chronic lung disease, AIDS, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and many other serious illnesses are eligible for palliative care.
BVPC helps with symptom management needed as a result of both the disease and treatment. By providing relief for various symptoms, palliative care can help the patient carry on with daily life, and improve the ability to undergo or complete medical treatments.
Other symptoms palliative care may address:
• Bowel or bladder problems
• Loss of appetite, weight loss, or wasting
• Shortness of breath or labored breathing
• Delirium or mental confusion
• Difficulty sleeping
Accessing Brazos Valley Palliative Care Services
The BVPC physician and nurse make home visits as needed, have frequent phone calls with patients and families, and provide updates to the patient’s primary care physician and other providers contributing to the patient’s care. BVPC can also coordinate medical services and resources like pharmacy, durable medical equipment, and therapies. Please call 979-820-3504 for more information.