End-of-Life Care: Hospice of the West Guides Arizonans to Informed Decision-making, Offers Education, Palliative Support for Patients & Family Caregivers

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Hospice of the West (HOW), a leading community-based hospice and palliative care organization in Maricopa County, Arizona, announces that its team of specially trained Turn-Key Health Palliative Extensivists™, including palliative care nurses and clinical social workers, now offers education, training and resources to help seriously ill patients and their family caregivers to improve quality of life at the end-of-life. The HOW team is not only experienced in relieving the multiple, socio-economic burdens associated with advanced illnesses, but also has the sensitivity and expertise to conduct meaningful, thoughtful discussions that help to establish goals of care and match treatments to personal wishes.

“Communications are a key component of advance care planning and shared decision making, and really make a difference for those who are so fragile and vulnerable,” says Rhea Go-Coloma, LMSW, chief administrative officer, HOW. “These meaningful conversations often include guidance about non-beneficial treatment (NBT) — procedures or tests administered to patients that impair quality of life or potentially cause pain or prolonged suffering. As a result, individuals avoid hospitalizations and costly, often unwanted interventions that may be of questionable benefit.”

Arizonans facing the challenges of multiple chronic diseases, and who are struggling with issues that impact day-to-day living and quality of life, find value in specialized palliative care programs.

“Our palliative services effectively fill gaps in care, providing relief from symptoms and stress, medication management, care coordination and other emotional and psychological support that may go missing from traditional care models,” says Go-Coloma.

Research reported in the New England Journal of Medicine shows palliative care can also help patients live longer: in a study of 151 patients with advanced lung cancer, those given early palliative care survived 11.6 months, nearly three months longer than those who received standard medical care.

“It’s very gratifying to see these results validated in such a prestigious publication,” she concludes.


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