Improving Quality of Life
The Palliative Care program at Torrance Memorial seeks to improve quality
of life and decrease suffering for patients with serious, chronic or life-threatening illness.
Palliative care takes into account the person's emotional, physical
and spiritual needs and goals — as well as the needs of his or her
family. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and can be provided
alongside any curative treatments. The services provided by our team focus
on enhancing our patient's quality of life by providing comfort and
support to our patients and their family members.
Who Can Benefit from Palliative Care?
- Patients with any serious illness such as cancer, cardiac disease, kidney
failure, Alzheimer's, amyotophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and respiratory disease.
- Patients with uncontrolled physical symptoms such as cancer related pain,
shortness of breath, nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue.
- Patients and families who wish to discuss advance care planning (advance
care directive and/or POLST forms).
What Can I Expect?
Symptom Management - Expertise in treating symptoms such as pain, fatigue, constipation, shortness
of breath and insomnia, as well as emotional symptoms such as anxiety
or depression. Symptoms may be present due to the diagnosis itself or
the treatment that is being provided.
Support Throughout All Stages - Whether you are seeking a cure or focusing on quality of life and symptom
control, palliative care provides an extra layer of physical and emotional
support for patients and families. The specialist may also help coordinate
care and communication when needed.
Advance Care Planning - Since outcomes of treatment may be unpredictable, palliative clinicians
may assist patients and families when they seek more information surrounding
disease progression. When appropriate, we help with knowledge regarding
end of life resources and information.
The Palliative Care Team
Members of the Palliative Care team include:
Medical Director: A physician skilled in treating pain and uncomfortable symptoms
Nurse Practitioner: A nurse trained in understanding the many needs of seriously ill patients
Social Services: A healthcare professional who assists in meeting the social and emotional
needs of patients and families.
Other professionals are available, as needed:
Advanced Care Pharmacist: A pharmacist who is experienced in all areas of medications used to manage symptoms
Dietitian: A professional who understands how to meet a patient’s nutritional
needs during illness
Chaplain: Visits are arranged, by request of a patient or family member, to address
any spiritual needs
How is Palliative Care Different from Hospice?
Palliative care is available at any time during a serious or life-threatening
hospice care is available only at the end of life — when curative or life-prolonging
treatments have been stopped. You don't have to be in hospice to receive
How Can I Learn More About Palliative Care?
If you're interested in obtaining palliative care for yourself or a
loved one, ask your doctor or your loved one's doctor about palliative
care options. Palliative care is covered by most insurances.
For more information about the Palliative Care program, please call 310-784-4880.