Caring for the Whole Person
When diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness, you and your family might be distressed about what the next step should be in your care. Palliative care at University Health is concerned about you as a whole person, not just the part that is sick. We understand that you might be frightened and unsure of yourself when making medical decisions.
We also understand there is not always one right or wrong answer to decisions. Your needs and wishes may change over time. Palliative care relieves or soothes symptoms of a disease or disorder, while maintaining a patient’s highest possible quality of life. Palliative care is for people of any age and at any stage in an illness, whether that illness is curable, chronic or life-threatening.
What Is Palliative Care?
Palliative care aims to improve you and your family’s quality of life while facing problems associated with life-threatening illness. Palliative care can help at any stage of a serious illness. It is best introduced early, but can be beneficial at any time, including during and after treatment.
You might need palliative care if you:
- Have symptoms that are difficult to treat such as pain, nausea, fatigue, depression, shortness of breath or anxiety
- Need assistance coordinating treatments from different doctors
- Need help understanding treatment choices
- Want support with making difficult medical decisions
We offer palliative care services for children and adults.
Certified in Palliative Care
University Health earned Advanced Certification in Palliative Care from The Joint Commission. Three of our team members also received the Hastings Foundation Cunniff-Dixon award for Palliative Care.
These recognitions demonstrate our dedication to providing the finest holistic care to each of our patients.
Our goal is to improve quality of life for both you and your family while you are sick. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work with your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care can be started at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be given at the same time as other treatments.
Conditions Palliative Care Supports
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Liver disease
- Lung disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Renal disease
- Traumatic brain injury
Any health care professional can identify a patient and advocate for them to make a palliative care referral.
Services We Provide
The palliative care team provides a system of care that fosters timely access to palliative care services and promotes improved quality of life for patients and their families.
How We Can Help
- Arrange equipment for your home like special beds, chairs, wheelchairs, etc.
- Assist patients and families with establishing goals of care and assure interventions meet those goals. This includes optimizing symptom control and improving functional status when appropriate
- Assist primary care teams with planning for transition to the appropriate level of care
- Medicine and nutritional support
- Provide aggressive symptom management and support of the patient and family members at the end of life
- Provide an environment that is comforting and healing
- Provide education to medical professionals and the community
- Provide emotional support
Inpatient and Outpatient Care
We offer both inpatient and outpatient palliative care depending on your needs. Because we aim to give you a continuity of care, we may provide outpatient palliative care long after you’ve been discharged from inpatient care.
Pediatric outpatient Comprehensive Care Clinics
- Robert B. Green Campus Clinical Pavilion
- University Hospital – 5th Floor Rio Tower
Adult outpatient clinic
- University Hospital 6th floor Rio Tower, 4502 Medical Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78229
Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care
It can be easy to confuse hospice care and palliative care because they provide the same type of service: relieving pain and stress during a difficult time. Palliative care is sometimes provided in addition to hospice care.
- Not necessarily for end-of-life care
- You can get palliative care at any point in your treatment, regardless of your prognosis
- Meant to improve your and your family’s overall quality of life while you are sick
- Usually partially covered by insurance, or you pay out of pocket
- Provided at hospital
- Specifically for people who are terminally ill
- Stronger focus on bereavement and grief
- Usually 100% covered by Medicare, Medicaid or your insurance
- Provided at home