Care for Patients and Families
UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisconsin is committed to providing excellent palliative care for patients and their families.
Palliative Care - Helping Patients
Palliative Care team members meet with patients to assess their needs. They may discuss planning for the future and documentation of any health care wishes. Team members are able to help with concerns that may be distressing to patients such as depression, loss of control, anxiety or loneliness.
Team members will assess patients' physical needs and the treatment of symptoms including:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
Many patients discuss fears that they may have including the fear of being a burden to families and a fear of dying. Chaplains are available to discuss any spiritual and religious concerns. Other team members can assist patients with financial and legal concerns.
Palliative Care - Helping Families, Caregivers and Friends
We recognize that it requires a lot of time and energy to provide care for someone who is ill. That is why among the goals of palliative care is supporting the family, caregivers and friends of the patient.
Palliative care supports and assists families in:
- Talking about their feelings and concerns
- Asking questions of the health care team
- The decision making process
- Giving medicines appropriately
- Identifying personal care needs
- Using available resources for home care
Palliative care team members will alert families to health related problems patients may face in the future. The team will also assist patients and their families in coordinating any needed services. Team members will be available to help family members learn how to talk to their loved ones, know what to say and how to listen. They may also help families members deal with their own feelings of guilt, anger and grief.