RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- As our nation commemorates November as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, there is a growing body of research that shows that the earlier introduction of palliative care services for patients with serious illnesses enhances the quality of their medical care, improves their quality of life, and may even extend their lives.
Palliative care is an option for patients who are seeking to supplement their medical treatment with a care plan designed to enhance their quality of life. A palliative care team works in partnership with each patient’s primary care physician to ensure that care is comprehensive and coordinated.
“Palliative care focuses on preventing or relieving pain and other physical, emotional, or spiritual distress that can accompany serious illness,” says Valley Hospital's outpatient palliative care advanced practice nurse David Liguori. “You do not have to have a terminal illness to benefit from palliative care.”
Those who practice the care can increase patient satisfaction; decrease anxiety, depression, and stress; and reduce ER visits, hospital re-admissions, and healthcare costs. Palliative care also provides comfort and support for family members and/or other caregivers.
Palliative procedure can be provided at any time during a chronic illness, both as inpatient or outpatient services. Palliative care can help patients regain strength to carry on with their daily lives, avoid stressful trips to the hospital, exert control over their care, and improve their ability to tolerate medical treatments.
Valley Health System’s Palliative Care Program offers inpatient and outpatient services, which work closely with services provided by The Valley Hospital, Valley Home Care, and Valley Medical Group. Any patient can ask his/her physician for a referral. You do not have to be a patient of The Valley Hospital.