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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital

 

Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized medical care for Veterans with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of serious illness.

What is Truman VA’s Palliative Care Team?

  • Our multidisciplinary team includes a physician, nurse practitioner, nurse, social worker, psychologist and chaplain. Other disciplines are available on an individual, as needed basis.
  • Truman VA’s Palliative Care Team works in conjunction with your primary care physician.
  • The palliative care team provides an additional layer of support for our Veterans and their families. The goal of the team is to achieve increased quality of life through pain management, symptom control and restoration of functional capacity. Palliative care is provided in an environment that is sensitive to personal, cultural, and religious values, beliefs and practices.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care focuses on comfort. This type of care:

  • Can be used in conjunction with treatment that tries to cure your health issue.
  • Focuses on pain management, controlling symptoms and helps you carry out daily activities.
  • Tries to improve or maintain quality of life – not just your body, but also your mind and spirit.
  • May be used with other VA home and community-based services.

What is the difference between hospice and palliative care?

  • The focus of hospice and palliative care is to treat the mind, body and spirit through symptom management and improving quality of life.
  • Palliative care is a broader term that includes hospice care, as well as other care that emphasizes symptom control. However, palliative care does not necessarily require the presence of an imminently terminal condition or a time-limited prognosis. Palliative care may include a balance of comfort measures and curative interventions that varies across a wide spectrum.
  • Hospice is for those diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and life expectancy of less than six months. Additionally, hospice treatment goals focus on comfort rather than curative care.

What does palliative care offer?

Truman VA’s multidisciplinary team works with your primary care physician to:

  • Assess and make recommendations for the management of symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, nausea, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite and constipation.
  • Manage physical, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual needs.
  • Provide guidance and support regarding what to expect throughout the course of your disease process.
  • Achieve care goals and assist with associated treatment decisions throughout your illness.
  • Help you and your family with easing caregiver stress, advanced care planning and decision-making strategies.

Who could benefit from palliative care and when?

  • It is never too early to consider palliative care. Palliative care may be appropriate if you have a progressive, life-limiting illness, such as COPD, heart failure, kidney failure, cancer or dementia.

How do I talk with someone about palliative care?

  • Talk with your primary care provider to discuss whether a palliative care consult would be appropriate.
  • Secure message Truman VA’s palliative care coordinator.
  • Truman VA’s palliative care coordinator can be contacted during business hours, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling Julie Fairchild, RN-MSN, at (573) 814-6000, extension 52504.



Contact Info

Location

  • Truman VA, Rm. B300

Contact Number(s)

  • 573-814-6000 Ext. 52504

Hours of Operation

  • 8am-4:30pm, M-F