What is Comfort Care?
Our Comfort Care Palliative Program focuses on treating pain and relieving the symptoms that can accompany serious illness or injury.
Symptoms that can be addressed by palliative care include pain, insomnia, and anxiety, and depression, shortness of breath, fatigue / weakness, headache, vomiting, constipation, nausea or loss of appetite.
Palliative care addresses each patient as a whole person including his or her physical comfort, emotional well-being, spirituality, confidence and dignity. Because family members are also involved in a person’s illness, the palliative care nurse practitioner supports and informs them as well.
Comfort Care Services
Palliative care can begin whenever a patient and clinician feel it can help. For many, this happens shortly after the diagnosis of a serious condition. Patients and their families may choose to receive these and other palliative care services:
- Expert management of pain and physical symptoms that can make living difficult. Our Comfort Care nurse practitioner is a specialist in symptom management.
- Care coordination between primary and specialty care physicians, care teams, therapists and others.
What can the Nurse do?
- Provide physical and emotional support that respects your wishes.
- Provide information about your medication.
- Help you communicate with your doctors about health care decisions that could affect your future care should you no longer be able to speak for yourself.
- Support you and your family when you are worried about becoming a burden, experiencing loneliness and isolation or feeling like things are out of control.
Our Comfort Care nurse practitioner helps patients of all ages, from infants to elders, live well in the face of physical changes and personal challenges.
When is Comfort Care appropriate?
- When you’re released from the hospital or nursing home and require additional symptom management.
- When you first become ill with a life-threatening disease.
- When you are receiving treatment.
- After many months or years of struggling with a chronic disease.
Who can receive?
Comfort Care provides personalized services, resources and support for our patients with a wide range of medical challenges, such as:
- People living with cancer, chronic lung disease/emphysema, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease/heart failure, stroke and other chronic and life-threatening conditions.
- Infants and children living with complex medical needs.
- Elderly individuals living with the health concerns of aging.
Patients usually receive palliative care services along with other medical treatments, such as intensive care, cardiac or cancer care.
How Long Can Someone Receive Comfort Care Services?
Our Comfort Care program is a temporary service. An individual is discharged from the program when their symptoms are controlled and the palliative care nurse practitioner assesses that the individual is able to function on their own.
To obtain a palliative consultation, call (573) 701-8716 and ask to speak with the Comfort Care Director.