What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness, regardless of their diagnosis. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and their family members. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient’s primary physician to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and any stage of a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatment.

Our Purpose

Palliative Care Services are available to patients in the hospital with referrals to home health. The focus of Palliative Care is symptom management and to promote the best quality of life for patients and family members.

Our Vision

We are committed to providing access to compassionate, state-of-the-art palliative care. We are the community’s first choice for patient-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and managing pain and distressing symptoms.

  • Our highly skilled interdisciplinary team, in partnership with the patient, their family members and health care providers, coordinate seamless care and continuity across the continuum.
  • We listen to the patient’s unique needs, goals, values and preferences to clearly communicate their care options and honor their informed choices.
  • We believe the whole of life is sacred and that emotional and spiritual healing is possible, even when curing is not. Palliative care begins when a person is diagnosed with a life-altering condition and continues through cure or transition to hospice and into bereavement. If the decision has been made to no longer treat the underlying illness, all palliation may be provided through hospice.

Who can receive Palliative Care?

Any person facing a debilitating or serious illness, regardless of life expectancy, may receive palliative care. A patient’s physician would order a palliative care team consultation, then a member of the team will collaborate with the physician, and meet with the patient and family within a day (Monday through Friday).

Can Palliative Care be used while receiving treatments to cure an illness?

Yes, patients may receive curative treatments and palliative care at the same time.

Palliative Care Services

We anticipate, manage and proactively treat distressing symptoms, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath

We treat people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses, such as:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac disease, such as congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Kidney failure
  • Parkinson’s
  • Any other serious illnesses

The Mission Hospital Palliative Care Team

Each member of our Palliative Care team offers a unique resource to our patients with the goal of honoring the patient’s wishes as the foundation of our care plan. Our team consists of:

  • Physicians and nurse practitioners who have received specialized education in palliative care
  • Spiritual Care staff
  • Social workers
  • Integrative therapists, such as massage therapists, acupuncturists and music therapists
  • Nurse palliative care coordinator

End-of-life Care

Read more about end-of-life care.

Our Commitment

  • To serve the patient and family members with personalized care planning, professional service and caring relationships within our health care ministry
  • To provide excellent care that is holistic and seamless across health care settings
  • To provide comfort, offering everything we can to manage pain and symptoms
  • To bring compassionate care to strengthen relationships, meaning and hope
  • To communicate with patients and family members, to be actively involved in decision making
  • To achieve the best quality of life for patients and family members
  • To support family and loved ones

For questions or more information, please contact the Palliative Care team at (949) 364-1400 ext. 7668.