Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is a patient- and family-focused approach to medical care, concentrating on symptom management and pain relief.

The goal of Palliative Care is to prevent and relieve the pain, suffering and stress of disease, and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, regardless of the stage of disease or the need for other therapies. Palliative Care improves the lives of patients and families facing serious illness.

What can patients
and families expect
from the Palliative
Care Program?

Palliative Care provides a multidisciplinary team of professionals who will work along with the patient's primary physician. Together they are equipped to provide physical, emotional and spiritual support. The staff will work to provide:

  • Compassionate care.
  • Open and honest communication regarding the patient's medical condition and treatment options.
  • Guidance and support in making difficult treatment decisions.
  • Aggressive management of pain and treatment of distressing symptoms such nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, fatigue, anxiety and insomnia.
  • Assistance with coordinating home care or other discharge needs.
  • Emotional and spiritual support.

Who can benefit
from Palliative Care?

Any patient with a life-altering illness such as heart failure, stroke, severe respiratory disease, kidney failure, cancer or liver disease can benefit from the program. Palliative Care is not hospice care, and patients do not have to be in the end stages of life, although they may be. Palliative Care is appropriate for any stage of illness. Treatment is focused on improving the present quality of life when a complete cure may not be possible. As medical treatments become less effective and less likely to succeed or improve a patient's quality of life, the Palliative Care team can assist in the transition to a new level of care.

What is special about Piedmont Augusta's Palliative Care Services?

The Palliative Care Service is a specialized team where efforts are combined by a multidisciplinary team, to serve the patient's physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs. The care is focused on the patient and family, with a concentration on a high level of communication. Patients receive intensive symptom management, assistance with decision-making and careful discharge planning.

Who pays for Palliative Care services?

Palliative Care is covered by Medicare and most insurance companies.

Learn more about Palliative Care

To begin Palliative Care, ask your physician for a referral. To find out more about the program, call 706.774.2670 or 706.774.7070.

What is advance directive planning?

A serious illness can be an emotional time for patients and families. Talking about end-of-life decisions is often difficult, but it is necessary. Advance planning is the best way to ensure that your wishes are known and will be followed.

A member of the Pastoral Care team can help you and your family with Advance Directive planning. Your physician, nurse and the Palliative Care team can help you decide if Palliative Care is right for you.