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What is Palliative Care?
By Timothy M. Campbell, MD


Palliative care is specialized care for people living with a serious or distressing illness, with a goal to improve and obtain the best quality of life for both the patient and his/her family. It is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with the patient’s other physicians and healthcare professionals to provide an extra layer of support. It’s appropriate at any age, at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative active treatment. It is increasingly recognized that a palliative approach, especially when used early is particularly beneficial.

The Center to Advance Palliative Care cites three main strengths of Palliative Care:

Improves Quality of Life
Palliative care teams specialize in treating people suffering from the symptoms and stress of serious illnesses such as cancer, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), kidney disease, Alzheimer’sParkinson’s and many more. This type of care treats pain, depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety and any other symptoms that may be causing distress. In short, palliative care will help improve your quality of life.

Close Communication
The palliative care team spends time talking to the patient and their family members/loved ones; they ensure all treatment options and choices are communicated and understood. By deeply exploring a patient’s personal goals, the palliative team helps match those goals to treatment options. They ensure that communication and coordination takes place with the treating physicians and that those teams know and understand the patient and family’s goals of care and wishes giving the patient-family unit more control over their care improving their overall quality of life

A Partnership
Palliative care teams are specialists that provide an extra layer of support when needed most. In addition to treating distressing symptoms and supporting the patient and family, the palliative care team coordinates and communicates with all treating clinicians so everyone’s on the same page. They support the patient every step of the way.

Gallagher Home Health Services is proud to offer a true physician-directed palliative program.

Dr. Timothy Campbell is Chief Medical Officer of Gallagher Home Health Services. For more information, visit www.gallagherhhs.com.



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