No one should have to suffer through an illness or die alone or in pain. From the start of a life altering or terminal illness, practitioners try to reduce the burden on family caregivers by identifying and providing for patient and family needs, whether physical, emotional, practical, or spiritual.
The Supportive Care Program at Boone Hospital Center has the primary mission of relieving the pain, suffering and symptoms of those with a life altering or life threatening illness. It offers direct patient care as well as support for the family. The program also seeks to develop a larger local community knowledgeable about palliative medicine and offers an invitation to all hospital staff to support and be involved in the program. A final goal is to connect with those outside of mid-Missouri to expand access to palliative care.
You can find out more about the Supportive Care Program at Boone Hospital Center by downloading our service overview (PDF). Patients, family and caregivers who are or will be experiencing the process of end-of-life care, may find the instructive brochure Preparing for End of Life (PDF) of use.
Supportive Care services for the seriously ill, their caregivers, families, and loved ones include:
Curative or Life-Prolonging Treatments
While hospice care usually requires that patients give up such treatments, supportive care services make no such injunction. Supportive Care patients can receive all of the benefits of comfort care while continuing curative treatment of their condition.
Relief of Physical Suffering
Supportive Care professionals provide highly skilled symptom management for pain, anxiety, constipation, weakness, and many other kinds of discomfort. They also help patients and families deal with side effects from therapies.
Attention to Emotional Needs
Supportive Care recognizes that emotional and spiritual distress are important sources of suffering. Supportive Care can offer help with non-physical pain through counseling and spiritual support.
Supportive Care teams are made up not only of medical and nursing practitioners but also social workers, clergy, pharmacists, and physical and occupational therapists. Thanks to their interdisciplinary nature, the teams can facilitate frank discussions between all the relevant players about what is needed during a patient's illness, as well as help patients identify their own goals.
Guarantee of 24/7 Access to Help
By coordinating communication between doctors, home care nurses, pharmacists, hospital and nursing home staff, Supportive Care teams ensure that patients and their families can always reach someone quickly with questions.
Support for the Bereaved Family
Supportive Care programs don't forget about the family after a patient dies. They recognize that family caregivers need help and support after an illness and make sure that support and counseling services are available to those who need them.