Gifford Health Care’s COVID Candle Lighting Ritual.
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. It is not based on age or prognosis, but focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The goal is to improve the quality of mind, body and spirit for both the patient and the family since today’s health care system isn’t designed for the needs of the seriously ill patient.
Gifford’s palliative care providers will work with your primary care provider to get to know you and develop a customized plan that supports your treatment goals, personal wishes and values. Services typically include:
- Pain relief (physical, mental and emotional)
- Continuation of appropriate treatment and therapy services for your illness
- Advanced symptom management
- Support and counseling for the patient and their family
- Assistance with advance care planning is available to aid you in understanding your illness and treatment.
- Support for end-of-life care
Families can decide if they want to receive high-quality comfort end-of-life care at Gifford or home. For patients in their final days whose needs are not able to be met at home, there are special suites in the hospital called Garden Rooms. These rooms open onto a courtyard garden and have adjoining spaces for visiting family members and friends.
Starting in 2006, The Last Mile has raised more than a million dollars for Gifford’s end-of-life care. The money helps lift the burden off of families who have become the caregivers, allowing them to can go back to their primary role of being a wife, husband, child, or grandchild.
Linda McDermott tells the story of how the Last Mile fundraiser started.
Some of the services made possible by The Last Mile include:
- Travel expenses for incoming family members
- Treatment for physical/mental pain (massages)
- Estate planning
- Special ceremonies (birthdays, weddings)
- A Gifford provider can refer a patient for a palliative/end-of-life consult and can request assistance through the Last Mile fund.
Gifford’s chapel is located on the first floor of the hospital next to the hallway that takes you to Howell Pavillion. It is a quiet sanctuary for reflection, meditation and prayer.