Palliative Care

Palliative Care

What is palliative care?  Palliative care is care for people living with a serious illness.  It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family. 

Palliative care is provided by a team of specialists including palliative care doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other specialists who work together with your doctor to provide an extra layer of support in the hospital.  Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.

How to get Palliative Care

If you are interested in receiving palliative care for your illness while in the hospital, the first step is to speak to the attending doctor who is treating you.  Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of life, helping with advance care planning discussions, and providing emotional support to patients and their families.  Be sure to explain to your attending doctor what is important to improving your quality of life and your doctor can refer you to palliative care, if appropriate.

Palliative Care at Straub

Palliative Care at Straub Clinic & Hospital

Palliative care services at Straub include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Continuity of care across clinical settings
  • Guidance with difficult treatment choices
  • Goals of Care/Advance care planning
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Spiritual support
  • Psychosocial support for patients and families
  • Bereavement support for families and care team members of patients

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the many ways serious illness affects patients and their families. Sometimes these medical conditions cause ongoing physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering. In such cases, it is important to make a special effort to identify ways to help patients and their families have the best possible quality of life. The palliative care service at Straub hospital is a team of dedicated physicians, nurses, social workers, and chaplains who wish to help patients and families achieve this specific goal.

Is Palliative Care The Same As Hospice Care?

No. Hospice care is meant specifically for those approaching the last stages of life, while palliative care is appropriate for any stage of a serious illness.

Who Can Benefit From The Service Of The Palliative Care Team?

The Palliative Care Team recognizes that there ore often many people in a patient's life who offer special types of support. Parents, children, siblings, extended family, religious leaders, friends, and primary care physicians often provide levels of care that few or no others can. Therefore, it is our goal to provide assistance to them. Palliative care is holistic care, focusing on mind, body, and spiritual aspects of illness. Our team attempts to improve the quality of life for everyone involved in coring for the ill patient:

  • The patient themselves-who may be suffering from a serious progressive illness such as cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease, liver disease, kidney failure, or dementia
  • Family members-who may be suffering as well, but who often do not seek assistance for themselves
  • Healthcare providers-who sometimes struggle with their own emotions as they grow closer to a patient or family

When Is The Right Time For Palliative Care?

Palliative care helps through all stages of illness. It is best introduced early in your care, and is provided at the same time as curative treatments.

How Will Palliative Care At Straub Hospital Help?

Palliative Care is tailored to the needs of each patient and his or her family. We recognize that the goals of care and quality of life for each patient may change over time. The Palliative Care Team often makes suggestions aimed at providing:

  • Therapies and goals of care sensitive to the beliefs and values of you and your family
  • Expert treatment of pain
  • Relief from distressing symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping
  • Close communication and compassionate care
  • Guidance with difficult treatment choices
  • Emotional and spiritual support for you and your family


This service is available at:   Kapiolani Pali Momi Straub Wilcox


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