Palliative care extends the principles of hospice care to a broader population that could benefit from receiving this type of care earlier in their illness. Our palliative care program or CPR is a new model of health care delivering a level of care not available in the past. It is a pre-hospice service for patients diagnosed with chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, (stage 4) cancer, COPD, and dementia. It is for a time in the patient’s life when traditional strategies and palliative strategies are both important for the patient. Unlike hospice care where the patient declines aggressive treatment in favor of comfort, in our palliative care program (CPR) no specific treatment is excluded from consideration including aggressive treatment options.
Our typical palliative care patient would be continuing aggressive treatment but at the same time would be supported by our CPR team to manage side effects and pain while remaining at home and avoiding unnecessary hospitalization. As the disease becomes more advanced the patient may choose to rely more and more on comfort and palliative care. As the illness progresses further, palliative care may lead to hospice care. Whatever the stage of the disease, our program provides the best level of care and enhances the quality of the patient’s life.