Supportive, or palliative, care is care aimed at comfort versus cure and treatment. The decision to accept palliative care versus aggressive treatment is often a decision parents struggle with. It is an acceptance of a poor prognosis and an opportunity to provide a very special kind of care to a loved one. The dying process requires as much care and respect as the other stages in life. It is only through this care and respect that parents can truly "be there" for their child. It is a change of direction with new goals and new hopes: a peaceful, pain-free death in the presence of loved ones.
Palliative care can be provided in the hospital, at home, or in a setting specializing in palliative care. The duration of palliative care may be long-term, over several years, or short-term, lasting days or weeks. Palliative care may include chemotherapy or radiation for pain control. Often a progressive disease or tumor may be slowed or reduced by this therapy for pain management. Other methods of pain management may be recommended. It is important to discuss that the goal of therapy is not for treatment or cure, but rather to relieve pain and discomfort.
Utica Park Clinic offers palliative care services on the Hillcrest Medical Center at:
Find more helpful information on the End-of-Life Planning page.