Bridges Palliative CareAs we age, change is a natural part of life. but a life-threatening illness also forces major changes into our life and the lives of those who love and care for us. And when the diagnosis is unexpected, a patient and family members may feel at a loss.
Difficult medical decisions, different emotional and physical needs, fear and anxiety — these challenges may seem overwhelming.
You may be wondering:
- What should we do first?
- How do we prepare for the transitions ahead?
- Who can help us?
- Where can we find the information, help and resources we need?
What is palliative care?Bridges Palliative Care provides a full continuum of care for patients and their families. Medical, spiritual and emotional assistance helps patients and their families to ease the symptoms of a life-threatening illness without curing the underlying cause.
When patients have active, progressive, far-advanced disease, the focus of palliative care is on their quality of life. The Bridges program provides:
- Assistance wtih pain and symptom management
- Emotional and spiritual support
- Assistance with navigating the healthcare system
- Links to a broad range of community and healthcare resources
Bridges: a palliative care program at PeaceHealth SouthwestAs the name implies, there are many "bridges" to cross as your needs and wishes change along the way. We are here to help you adjust to each transition and to make the best decisions throughout your journey.
Once we receive an initial referral, the Bridges Palliative Care Team forms a circle of support for the patient and loved ones regardless of the care setting.
- The Bridges nurse is the key point of contact to advocate the patient's medical needs and to coordinate access to care.
- A hospital-trained and certified Bridges chaplain fosters quality of life, personal healing and spiritual renewal.
- In the hospital setting, a medical social worker with special interest in palliative care is available for consultation. This social worker identifies and accesses specific resources for palliative care patients.
- In the outpatient setting, the specially-trained Bridges volunteer reaches out to the patient and family to make contact at least once a month, and follows up with the Bridges nurse to ensure that the plan of care adapts to the patient's condition as needed.