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How Palliative Care Helps Patients Through Serious Illness


Friday, November 25th, 2016

Palliative care is a medical specialty that complements the other care patients receive during a life-threatening illness. The goal of palliative care is simple: Allow the patient to live their life to the fullest during treatment.

A UPMC, the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute is the hub for clinical services in palliative care. Its mission is to provide high-quality, coordinated care for patients with serious illnesses. Services are available in the hospital, via outpatient clinics, in skilled nursing facilities, and at home.

November is Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Palliative care addresses:

• Quality of life, however that may be defined by the patient
• Management of suffering and symptoms, such as pain, anxiety, and family coping
• Decisions about how care is provided

Additionally, the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute provides access to consistent education, training and technical assistance for health care professionals who care for people with serious illnesses.

What's the difference between palliative and hospice care? Click To Tweet

The Difference Between Palliative and Hospice Care

Hospice care falls under the umbrella of palliative care.

Hospice care is a specific set of services that support a patient at the end of his or her illness. Hospice also provides support for family and caregivers of the patients. It can be provided at home, in nursing facilities, and in the hospital.

Hospice addresses:

• The issues, decisions, and symptoms that come with the end-of-life process
• The patient’s and family’s ability to cope with this process
• Comfort, dignity, and quality of life
• Bereavement needs for family members

Palliative Care at UPMC

Six UPMC hospice programs serve patients and caregivers, according to geographic region:

Family Hospice and Palliative Care
Fayette Homecare and Hospice
Great Lakes Home Healthcare and Hospice
Home Nursing Agency
Jameson Hospice
Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County

Additionally, Family Hospice and Palliative Care has two inpatient hospice centers in Lawrenceville and Mt. Lebanon for short-term management of symptoms associated with life-limiting illness that cannot be managed successfully in another setting.

For more information on how hospice and palliative care may benefit your own family, call the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute at 412-864-2897 or toll free at 1-855-565-7146.

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Palliative and Supportive Institute

The UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute  offers specialized care and services for patients who are living with a serious or life-limiting illness. The staff and clinicians of PSI focus on managing and treating distressing symptoms and supporting decision-making to help patients and their families have the best possible quality of life during their illness. For more information or to speak with a member of our clinical team, call 412-864-2897 or visit us at www.upmc.com/psi. Read More