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Palliative Care

Do you have a loved one facing a serious or life-limiting illness?

The SMHC Palliative Care Program provides care and support to anyone in the hospital and their families who are facing a serious or life-limiting illness such as:
• Advanced cancer
• Lung disease
• Heart disease
• Kidney disease
• Nervous system diseases such as memory loss or ALS

We can provide palliative care during any part of a worsening illness, including while medicine or therapy is being given.


What is palliative care?
Palliative (pronounced PAL ee ah tiv) means to reduce the suffering of illness.  Palliative care is a medical specialty that helps to control pain and other signs of a serious illness such as:
• Constipation
• Depression
• Exhaustion
• Loss of appetite
• Nausea
• Shortness of breath
• Sleeping problems

The Palliative Care Program provides emotional, social and spiritual support to help you or a loved one and family members have more control and plan for the future. 

The goal of palliative care is to keep anyone living with a serious or life-limiting illness as comfortable and active as possible, so they can enjoy the best quality of life.

SMHC’s Palliative Care Program is available to hospitalized patients and their families.


The Palliative Care Team
Our team of specially trained experts includes:
• Doctors
• Nurses
• Case Managers
• Social Workers
• Pharmacists
• Physical, Occupational & Respiratory Therapists
• Dietitians
• Pastoral Care Providers


What services are available?
We work closely with you to decide which services will be most helpful based on the illness and what is needed.  These services may include:
• Help planning for future care needs
• Help with treatment choices, decisions and goals
• Emotional and spiritual support
• Treatment to relieve pain and other signs of illness
• Individual and family counseling
• Help and support for loss


Who can get palliative care services?
The Palliative Care Program welcomes anyone hospitalized at SMHC with a serious or life-limiting illness and their family members, no matter what their illness or ability to pay.


How I get services?
Doctors and/ or SMHC staff members refer patients to the Palliative Care Program while they are in the hospital.  Patients and families may also request services.


Will I or my loved one’s doctors continue to provide care?
Yes. The team works closely with the established doctors, who will continue to provide care.


How is palliative care different from hospice care?
The palliative care team can provide services in the hospital during any part of an illness, even when medicine or therapy, such as chemotherapy, is being given.  Hospice care is provided to those who are nearing the end of life, wherever they are being cared for.


End of Life Care
When an illness becomes much worse, treatment to relieve pain and other signs of illness continues.  Members of the palliative care team will stay closely involved with a focus on deep caring.  The goal is to help you or your loved one live life to the fullest with quality and dignity.

For more information about SMHC’s inpatient palliative care services call (207) 283-7320.


Additional Resources

GetPalliativeCare.org

MaineHealth.org

 


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