Improving quality of life during a serious illness
What is Palliative Care?
If you are faced with a serious illness, you may benefit from Novant Health Palliative Care. Palliative care is a specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This specialized service is designed to maximize quality of life for you and your loved ones by minimizing the symptoms, pain and stress associated with your diagnosis.
At Novant Health, we recognize that it takes a team approach to manage serious illness. That is why our service provides an extra layer of support through a team approach that includes a physician, nurse, social worker and chaplain. Our specially trained palliative care team will work directly with you and your other doctors to provide the care that is right for you at the right time. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, even if curative treatment is still being pursued.
Palliative care services include:
- Treating pain, nausea, breathlessness, and other symptoms caused by a serious illness
- Discussing the diagnosis and goals of treatment
- Providing guidance for making treatment decisions in the future
- Providing support for the patient’s emotional and social needs, spiritual needs or concerns
- Assistance with Advance Directives, such as a Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will
- Providing support for caregivers and other loved ones
Who can benefit from Palliative Care?
While anyone with a serious illness can benefit from palliative care, there are certain diagnoses for which the service can be especially helpful: cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and others. This type of care can assist with not only the treatment of pain, but is helpful for depression, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, anxiety and any other symptoms that may be causing distress.
How can I access these services?
If you are hospitalized in a Novant Health facility, you may receive a palliative care consultation during your stay, or prior to discharge. Our team will work closely with all Novant Health team members involved in your care to ensure that you have the appropriate services and that your needs are met.
In addition, our palliative care team will work alongside team members to coordinate services outside the hospital with home care agencies, nursing homes and community hospice agencies if those services are deemed appropriate.
The Greater Winston-Salem Palliative Team serves NH Forsyth Medical Center, NH Thomasville Medical Center and NH Kernersville Medical Center. For additional information please call, 336-718-7041, and ask to speak with the palliative team.