When you or a loved one faces a life-threatening illness, the new Palliative Care Program at Botsford Hospital can help. The staff helps patients manage pain and symptoms, while easing the stress of caregiving for family.
“Palliative care provides a support system for the patient and family,” explains Annette T. Carron, D.O., who is board-certified in internal medicine and geriatric medicine, certified in hospice and palliative medicine, and Botsford’s director of palliative care. This growing medical specialty helps patients who are seriously ill through the last years or months of their lives.
With the Palliative Care Program, a doctor evaluates the patient and meets with as many family members as possible to discuss care goals and what to expect as a disease progresses. “It’s important to have all family members—including those from out of town—on the same page,” explains Dr. Carron.
Botsford started its program to meet the needs of patients and their families. “There was a gap in services for patients with serious illness who had symptoms and advanced care planning needs,” says Dr. Carron. “These patients and their families need to plan and prepare for the future. Botsford is visionary to provide this level of service.” Services go beyond relieving a patient’s physical pain to providing spiritual support and helping with depression and anxiety. Currently, services are offered on an inpatient basis, but Botsford plans to expand to outpatient services, too.
Botsford’s palliative care team includes a doctor, chaplain and social worker who work with the patient’s primary nurse. The team can guide patients and families through important care-related decisions, such as whether to enter a nursing home, choose life support or assign medical power of attorney.
“When death eventually comes, important legal decisions already will have been made to alleviate additional stress,” says Dr. Carron. “Our program can give patients and families peace of mind.”
Free! To request a free fact sheet on the Palliative Care Program, call the Botsford HealthSource Information Center at (248) 442-2565.