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  Supporting You and Your Family at Times of Serious Illness

At Mid Coast Hospital, palliative care specialists are available to assist health care and social workers in relieving the pain and suffering of their patients through our Palliative and Supportive Care Program.

Symptom Management

Palliative care is most important for patients with advanced or serious illnesses. This type of care helps patients manage a wide range of symptoms, including pain, nausea, anxiety and shortness of breath.

The program also supports patients emotionally and spiritually. Specially trained caregivers help patients cope with personal and family issues, adjust to new physical limitations and maintain a good quality of life.

Palliative care specialists often meet with patients, their healthcare teams and their families to discuss the current medical situation and what to expect in the future. They can help patients and families with decisions that may need to be made, including:

  • What are the patient’s goals? How does the care plan fit with those goals?
  • Where is the best place for the patient to receive care?
  • Has the patient written down his or her wishes in a healthcare directive or living will?
  • Who will make decisions about the patient’s care if he or she is unable to communicate?

The palliative care program encourages patient and family involvement in care planning. Palliative care specialists and the healthcare team can help families identify the resources they need and discuss ways to make this time as meaningful as possible.

Palliative Care v. Hospice

Hospice care is one kind of palliative care specifically for those in the last six months of life. Palliative care may begin at a much earlier stage, often while doctors are aggressively treating a disease. This is called “supportive care.” As individuals get closer to the end of life, they may choose to move into hospice care. Hospice care will continue to relieve suffering and focus on quality of life.


To Request Palliative or Supportive Care

If you wish to create a palliative care plan, ask your physician or nurse for more information. Or call Mid Coast Hospital’s Palliative and Supportive Care Program at 373-6383.


Our Consultation Team

Our team of interdisciplinary specialists is made up of Thomas J. Keating, MD, left, medical oncologist and palliative care physician; Debbie Demosthenes, BSN, RN, CRNH, palliative care and hospice nurse; and Deb Alpern, LCSW, clinical social worker, below. They are available to work with your doctor and nurses to help you and your family.

Our palliative care team is supported by many other professionals including nurses, social workers, chaplains, therapists, pharmacists, and a nurse specialist in pain management.


Other Features of the Palliative and Supportive Care Program Include:

  • Hospital Consultation Team
  • Palliative and Supportive Care Volunteers
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Palliative Care Advisory Committee
  • Pastoral Care Volunteers
  • Community and Professional Education Programs
 
 
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Maine Towns We Serve
For a Lifetime of Caring - Mid Coast Hospital
Accredited by The Joint Commission. Recognized as a Magnet™ Hospital for exceptional nursing and patient care by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. (Learn more at www.midcoasthealth.com/quality)
 

123 Medical Center Drive, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Phone: (207) 373-6000

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