Supportive and Palliative Care

Patients facing a serious illness may need relief from symptoms. They may need to better understand their condition and choices for care. If they’ve chosen to move ahead with medical treatments, they may need to improve their ability to tolerate the treatments. They may want help with telling health providers and family what’s most important to them, so that their care plan reflects these values and choices.

Our Supportive and Palliative Care Services Team may help address these aspects of living with a serious illness.

What is supportive and palliative care?

The Supportive and Palliative Care Services Team offers specialized medical service for people living with serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness while also attending to a patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs. This support normally includes addressing difficult-to-control symptoms, including pain, shortness of breath, nausea, loss of appetite, depression, fatigue and constipation.

The Supportive and Palliative Care Services Team works with patients – and those important to them – in identifying treatment choices and goals for medical care based on their wishes and values, and documenting these.

The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and their families.

The Supportive and Palliative Care Services Team includes board-certified supportive and palliative care physicians and specially trained nurses, social workers and chaplains. The team works with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Supportive and palliative care is appropriate at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with treatments meant to cure.

Our Supportive and Palliative Care Services Team assists patients in our two hospitals (Walnut Creek Medical Center and Concord Medical Center) and at our Walnut Creek clinic.

Is supportive and palliative care right for me?

Supportive and palliative care may be right for you if you suffer from pain, stress or other symptoms due to a serious illness. Serious illnesses may include cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s.

How can I get supportive and palliative care?

The first step is to talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor you are thinking of supportive and palliative care and ask for a referral. For more information, call (925) 941-4182.    

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