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Palliative care

 

Providing comfort and care to patients with progressive, life-threatening illness and their families through palliative care is an important focus of a program at Baptist Health Louisville.

The Palliative Care Unit at Baptist Health Louisville -- the first of its kind in Louisville -- serves as a bridge to hospice or home care. The unit, 4 Park, is a 24-bed all-private, acute inpatient unit specializing in palliative care for patients with long-term or terminal illness when a cure is not expected.

Palliative care recognizes the special needs of patients with chronic and/or terminal illnesses. The goal is not to cure, but to provide comfort and maintain the highest possible quality of life for as long as life remains. Treatment focuses on the management of physical symptoms as well as emotional and spiritual comfort for patients and their families without the aggressive treatments and tests often routine in traditional hospital settings. The goal is to have symptoms stabilized quickly so quality of life can improve and transfer to home or other services can occur within a five-day period.

At the request of a physician or nurse, 4 Park team members assess a patient's need for palliative care services. The team guides the patient, physician and family members to detail the patient's plan of care and what to expect.

One aim for the team is to ensure family members understand the care goals and identify any advance directives. The team assists with the discharge process, helping the family sort through options such as home health, nursing home care or hospice services. In addition, families are taught how to care for their loved ones at home.

Patients with advanced, progressive disease needing aggressive symptom management may benefit from the Palliative Care Unit. Ask your physician, or call (502) 259-4400 for more information.