Palliative Care

What is palliative care?

Our Palliative Care team improves comfort and quality of life for patients and families with life-limiting illness or injury and complex needs who are served by Cheshire Medical Center.

Palliative Care services are only offered to our Oncology patients at this time.

Palliative care addresses each patient as a whole person, including his or her physical comfort, confidence, emotional well-being, spirituality, and dignity. Because family members are also involved in a person's illness, the palliative care team supports them and helps them feel informed as well.

Since no two people are alike, our team works closely with patients, their loved ones, and their clinicians. Taking into account the patient's personal values and treatment preferences, together, we discuss and create a one-of-a-kind approach that includes what matters most to each individual.

Is palliative care the same as hospice?

Palliative care is not the same as hospice services and is usually recommended much earlier in the course of an illness.

Patients usually receive palliative care services along with other medical treatments, such as intensive care, state-of-the-art cardiac care, and specialty cancer care, including innovative clinical trials.

Palliative care delivered at the same time as other medical care has been shown to improve the quality of life for the patient and caregivers, improve symptom management, and, in some circumstances, even improve survival.

What does the Palliative Care team do?

At Cheshire, our Palliative Care team:

  • Relieves symptoms such as pain and shortness of breath
  • Helps patients and families to understand their health conditions and treatment options
  • Helps clarify goals of care to ensure treatments are aligned with your goals
  • Partners with primary care providers and specialists as part of your medical team
  • Focuses on good communication and coordinated care, offering specialty-level assistance for patients with complex care needs
  • Assists patients and families in adjusting to the practical challenges and emotional stress of caring for someone they love who is seriously ill
Jennifer McCalley

Jennifer McCalley: Offering compassion and empowerment in the face of serious illness

Returning to Cheshire, Jennifer McCalley, LICSW, ACHP-SW, now serves in a newly created social worker and program manager position for Palliative Care and Oncology .

View story

Who benefits from palliative care?

Our team provides personalized services, resources, and support for patients with a wide range of medical challenges.

Common types of patients we help include people living with:

  • Cancer (Cheshire oncology patients)
  • Cardiac issues (such as heart failure or heart valve issues)
  • Complex surgical or medical issues requiring prolonged or repeated hospitalizations
  • Neurological issues (such as stroke or ALS)
  • Any serious medical illness that may significantly impact the length or quality of life for the individual with the disease or their family

Supportive care and understanding

We provide comprehensive, supportive care across all healthcare settings:

  • During transitions to hospice care
  • In the outpatient clinic

Our Palliative Care team

Our team includes professionals and clinicians with diverse training, skills, and talents. Each team member is experienced in counseling individuals and families through what can be the most difficult times in their lives.

The team includes:

  • Specialized palliative care physician and nurse
  • Skilled social worker
  • Carefully selected and trained volunteers from the community