Palliative Care and Hospice Care are often confused, because the overall goal of both is to improve a patient’s and family’s quality of life during the time of illness.  Palliative Care is the overall discipline dedicated to aggressively managing and treating the physical, emotional, spiritual and social suffering of patients, while also providing curative treatments at any time during a life-changing illness. It can be delivered in any setting including the home, hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, and depending on the setting can include treatments such as intravenous pain medications, massage therapy and intensive pastoral care interventions.  Hospice Care, however, is a specific type of Palliative Care which requires a terminal diagnosis and a choice to suspend curative treatments.Palliative Care is provided for the patient and family members by an interdisciplinary team including nurses, certified nurse assistants, social workers, physicians, spiritual care providers and other health professionals. The team:
  • Works to eliminate pain and other discomfort to improve quality of life, improve mood and decrease fatigue;
  • Helps the patient and family in making medical decisions;
  • Assists patients in planning for the future in order to live well;
  • Cares for a patient’s loved ones, providing emotional and spiritual support.
The Palliative Care Center at Gurwin has recently opened, including private rooms for a small number of patients who will benefit from Palliative Care.  The benefits of receiving services in an inpatient setting such as Gurwin include the professional services of physicians, nurses and aides specially trained in Palliative Care, as well as social opportunities and the provision of  therapeutic recreation activities tailored to each patient’s needs and abilities. The goals of Palliative Care at Gurwin are patient specific, realistic, related to life expectancy, and driven by the patient whenever possible.

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