Improving Quality of Life

The palliative care programs at Torrance Memorial seeks to improve quality of life and decrease suffering for patients with serious, chronic or life-threatening illness.

Additionally, we coordinate palliative care with other programs at Torrance Memorial, including hospice care and home health services.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary medical specialty that aims to improve quality of life for people who have serious or life-threatening illnesses. 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 doesn't replace primary medical treatment. Instead, palliative care is provided in conjunction with all other medical treatment.

What Does Palliative Care Offer Patients?

Anyone who has a serious or life-threatening illness can benefit from palliative care, either to treat symptoms of the disease, such as pain or shortness of breath, or to ease the side effects of treatment, such as fatigue or nausea.

Working closely with your doctor, Torrance Memorial Palliative Care provides:

  • Relief of pain and symptoms resulting from advancing illness
  • Help in understanding treatment options
  • Assistance with difficult healthcare decisions and healthcare goal setting
  • Practical information about community resources and coping
  • Help in navigating the healthcare system
  • Emotional and spiritual support for the patient and family.

Our dedicated team evaluates the complex needs of those suffering from debilitating illness and responds with care that comforts.

The Palliative Care Team: Highly Trained Professionals

Members of the Palliative Care Team include:

  • Medical Director: A physician skilled in treating pain and uncomfortable symptoms
  • Palliative Care Nurse: A nurse trained in understanding the many needs of seriously ill patients and families
  • Social Services: A healthcare professional who assists in meeting the social and emotional needs of patients and families.

Other professionals are available, as needed:

  • Pharmacist: A pharmacist who is experienced in all areas of medications used to manage symptoms
  • Chaplain: Visits are arranged, by request of a patient or family member, to address any spiritual needs
  • Dietitian: A professional who understands how to meet a patient’s nutritional needs during illness

How is Palliative Care Different from Hospice?

Palliative care is available at any time during a serious or life-threatening illness, while 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 palliative care.

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.