Lake Regional Observes Palliative Care Month in November

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization says the most common response from families that have been helped by hospice or palliative care is, “I wish we had known about this sooner.”

November is a special month to make more people aware of palliative care services. The theme this year, “Comfort ? Love ? Respect,” reflects the values of the individuals that work in palliative care.

“Some patients are living with chronic diseases that can limit their ability to enjoy their favorite activities,” said Jo Fogarty, R.N., palliative care coordinator at Lake Regional Health System. “Other patients suffer from life threatening illnesses, in which going a day without nausea or pain is a luxury. No matter what crossroad you are at in your life, the Palliative Care program at Lake Regional is here to help.”

The Lake Regional Health System Palliative Care program uses an interdisciplinary team to provide comprehensive inpatient care services for patients and families to help relieve suffering, and improve quality of life inside the hospital. The Palliative Care team, which includes the palliative care coordinator, chaplain, dietitian, social worker and physician, helps accomplish goals that are determined by the patient.

“Our patients determine what is important and valued in their lives,” said Angel Frisbie, R.N., palliative care coordinator at Lake Regional Health System. “The Palliative Care team strives to assist the patient in developing his or her health care goals. We believe that our patients and their families should determine their priorities, not us. We are here to empower them and assist them in this difficult process.”

Any patient, regardless of life expectancy, can receive palliative care. For example, a patient that experiences chemotherapy-induced nausea may receive palliative care even though he or she is seeking cure from disease.

At Lake Regional, the palliative care team provides patient and family consultation; symptom and pain management; spiritual, nutritional, and social support; patient, family, and staff education and support; and helps develop a patient’s chosen plan of care.

For more information on Palliative Care, call Lake Regional Palliative Care Coordinators Jo Fogarty and Angel Frisbie at 573-302-2240.