The Rush Approach to Palliative Care
The goal of palliative care is for to you enjoy your life as much as possible. Our experienced clinicians specialize in preventing and reducing pain and addressing other symptoms you may have, such as breathing difficulties, fatigue, depression or nausea. We can also counsel you on how to increase your strength and stamina so that you can participate in activities and hobbies that matter most to you.
You or your loved ones can request a palliative care consult at any stage of any serious illness. We help patients with cancer, ALS, Alzheimer’s and other types of diseases. Palliative care doesn’t replace curative medical treatment. Instead, it can be combined with other medical treatments to improve your well-being.
After discussing your hopes, values and goals, our clinicians can also help you with the following:
- Pain management
- Addressing other symptoms, such as fatigue, breathing difficulties, nausea and depression
- Psychosocial and spiritual support
- Caregiver assistance or support
- Assistance lining up community services, such as transportation to medical appointments
- Advance directives, which are legal documents that detail what medical treatments you would want and not want if you become too sick to communicate these wishes
- Referrals for various types of supportive care available at Rush (e.g., physical and occupational therapy, massage therapy, nutritional counseling)
- Counseling related to difficult medical decisions, including the pros and cons of certain treatments and end-of-life decisions
Rush Excellence in Palliative Care
- Improved quality of life: We will help you spend more time living your life and engaged in the activities you enjoy — and less time in the hospital. Emergency department and hospital visits decreased by 30% among our patients, according to a recent study. That's because we help manage symptoms, control pain and provide supportive and complementary therapies that are tailored to each patient's unique health needs and lifestyle.
- Continuity of care: At Rush, we can provide palliative care in the hospital as well as after you leave the hospital and are recovering at home. This allows us to follow and support you throughout your illness.
- Specialized care for all conditions: Our palliative care physicians are trained in a variety of clinical specialties, including emergency medicine, critical care medicine, pulmonary medicine and primary care. That means you’ll receive palliative care from providers who are experts at treating the symptoms and side effects associated with your condition.
- Convenient access: Typically, our team can see you on the same day that you request an appointment.
- Close coordination: We will work closely with your care providers to ensure we are all on the same page about your treatment plan, including palliative and supportive measures. This may involve adjusting your medications or other treatments to reduce nausea or other side effects.
- Transition to end-of-life care: We also coordinate with Rush’s hospice program to ensure a smooth transition if you decide to stop curative treatments and move into hospice care. Rush can provide hospice care at home, as well as in the hospital if you need more intensive care.