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|About||Palliative Care is symptom management and holistic support for patients and their loved ones whom have chronic illnesses and advanced disease processes.|
Palliative care is supportive care for patients of any age, at any stage of chronic, progressive, or terminal illness. The purpose of palliative care is to relieve distressing symptoms and improve quality of life for patients and their loved ones. Palliative Care is provided by a team of professionals including doctors, nurses, social workers and chaplains. Palliative Care can be provided in almost any setting. Inpatient palliative care at Intermountain supports patients hospitalized for complications of their disease. Outpatient palliative care is fairly new here at Intermountain. McKay-Dee Palliative Care Clinic opened July 2014. Outpatient palliative care clinics are enhancing the comprehensiveness and continuity of care for patients with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses.
The outpatient palliative care clinic at McKay-Dee most commonly see patients with cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), kidney disease, and neurodegenerative diseases including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS). “We treat any type of serious illness, regardless of prognosis,” says Noreen Wynn, Practice Director, who oversees the McKay-Dee site. Unlike hospice, which focuses on the final months or days of life, palliative care can be initiated at the time of diagnosis. “Palliative care should begin early to support patients’ complex needs throughout the disease process,” says Dr. Gary Garner, Director of Palliative Care at Utah Valley Palliative Care. “It can involve everything from symptom control, medication management, and emotional and spiritual counseling, to guiding patients and families with medical treatment decision-making, advance care planning, bridging transitions between care settings [hospital, clinic, facility, home], and navigating the healthcare system.”
Sometimes there is some reluctance to introducing or referring to palliative care, owing to its stigma