"Since Mr. Jones' shortness of breath has progressed, he has difficulty dressing and undressing himself, taking a shower, and shaving. His unrelenting osteoarthritis pain has compounded his suffering, and he is in deep depression, he can't sleep, and has stopped eating. It is rather unfortunate that Mrs. Jones has Parkinson’s Disease and her memory is failing. She is unable to provide any help to her husband of 62 years.
Sheryl, their daughter, is the only caregiver. She is exhausted from juggling her family, her work, and taking care of her parents. The chore of taking them to their several doctors, getting their medications, and running their errands is not so painful to Sheryl as seeing her loving parents in continuous pain and watching them suffer and deteriorate."
Mr. and Mrs. Jones' suffering and Sheryl's desperation is too familiar among families with members suffering from chronic diseases, such as COPD, Dementia, Multiple Sclerosis, Renal Failure, Lou Gehrig's Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other chronic disorders. Palliative care is NOT Hospice care.
Patients suffering from chronic diseases with disabling symptoms need a comprehensive medical service to alleviate the disabling symptoms and suffering of the patient, to comfort them and restore their abilities, to meet their emotional and spiritual needs, to improve the quality of their lives, and to assist caregivers and families to sustain themselves.
This can be done only by a professional medical team able to evaluate and meet the needs of the patient and to help caregivers and family members face their challenges. The Palliative Care Clinic at Sunshine Behavioral Medicine is designed to meet this medical concern.
The aim of palliative medical care is to provide supportive medical care, along with the curative care the patient is receiving from their Primary Care and Attending Physicians, in order to free the patient from pain, suffering, and other distressing symptoms. The outcome is to sustain and improve the quality of life for the patient and to free caregivers and family members from distress and helplessness.
Palliative Care Team
The Palliative Care Team consists of two components: First is the professional component, which includes the Palliative Care Medical Director, who serves as the Team Leader, Palliative Care Nurse, the patient's Attending Physician, and Palliative Care Social Worker. Other health care professions which might serve on the Team are: occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehabilitation services, orthotics, prosthetics, pharmacist, optician, dentist, as well as the patient's chaplain, minister, priest or other spiritual leader as appropriate.
The second component of the Palliative Care Team consist of the patient's caregiver, family, friends, and all other interested parties involved with the patient's life and care.
How It Works
Palliative Medical Care begins with complete review of the patient's medical records which results in a tele-conference and consultation session of the Palliative Care Team with the Attending Physician who is providing the patient with the curative medical care. This is followed by an evaluation of the patient by the Palliative Care Team. Information gained from this evaluation is discussed at a meeting with the patient and family, along with recommendations for symptom management and maintenance supportive care. Depending on the patient's clinical situation, services will be provided either at the inpatient or outpatient locations. Services may include pharmacotherapy (medication management), physical and occupational therapy, home environment modification, and recommendations for structural changes in the home, and health counseling. At the heart of palliative care services is coordination of medical care in order to avoid duplication of services and to minimize painful and costly medical procedures. The goal is to sustain life and to improve the quality of life without compromising mental ability of the patient or expediting termination of life.
It is suggested that an estimated 50 million people suffer from chronic pain in America, or roughly one out of every five people. These individuals have often seen multiple doctors and other clinicians in the hope of finding relief from unrelenting pain. These patients feel depressed and desperate, have often tried numerous prescription drugs, and are dysfunctional in their family life, social life or workplace. Chronic pain affects all aspects of a patient's life as well as those who surround him or her.
At Sunshine Behavioral Medicine, our goal is to return patients with chronic pain to an independent, optimal, and normal life. A comprehensive evaluation and treatment of chronic pain begins with a consultation with our pain specialists. Based on this consultation, clinical, psychological and X-ray studies may be arranged to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. Upon diagnosis, the pain specialist will develop an appropriate treatment program which may consist of medications, rehabilitation, education, and counseling. In certain cases, treatment plans may include hospitalization for detoxification from addictive prescription drugs.
1) Do you have severe pain in one or more locations of your body that has lasted more than 6 months?
2) Has the experience and feeling of pain affected your family, work, or social life?
3) Have you seen several doctors and tried many different prescriptions for pain?
4) Do you often feel depressed and desperate about your pain?
5) Do you feel disabled and dysfunctional due to your pain?
6) Are there many professionals such as doctors, insurance adjusters, attorneys, and vocational counselors involved with your case?
If your answers to these questions are yes, you are suffering from chronic pain. Please call Sunshine Behavioral Medicine for an appointment.
The cost of services at Sunshine Behavioral Medicine is based on a fee schedule for each service. We accept Medicare and Medicaid, most insurance plans by preauthorization and after co-payment and deductibles are met. We also accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards.
How to Receive Services
Referral for admission to the Palliative Care Clinic at is not required, although preferred.