Palliative care is an approach focused on providing specialized support and symptom relief and assisting with advance care planning for individuals facing serious illnesses or conditions, particularly those with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions. Its primary goal is to enhance the quality of life for patients and their families by addressing physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs that often accompany serious illness. Palliative Care can help at any stage of illness and be provided alongside curative treatments, from the time of diagnosis onward. Palliative care is not limited to end-of-life care but rather focuses on improving the patient’s quality of life throughout their illness journey.
When someone is living with a serious illness, there is a lot going on. AIMS Institute’s providers are comprised of a team of healthcare professionals, including naturopathic and allopathic doctors, nurses, mental health counselors and other specialists who collaborate to address your unique needs. Palliative care from an integrative approach weaves conventional medical treatments with complementary therapies that focus on the whole person. We recognize that patients have unique needs and preferences.
The information gathered during a comprehensive assessment becomes the foundation for creating individualized care plans that partner with the patient to address all aspects of their lived experience and wellbeing. In general, Palliative Care offers:
- Pain and Symptom Management
It is possible to live well while living with a serious illness. Palliative care focuses on managing pain and alleviating symptoms associated with the underlying illness or side effects from treatment. This may involve the use of medications, therapies, and other interventions to help control pain, nausea, shortness of breath, fatigue, and other distressing symptoms.
- Emotional and Psychological Support
Palliative care understands the emotional and psychological challenges faced by patients and their families. Therapies such as trauma-informed counseling, emotional support, and resources are available to help individuals with the emotional impact of the illness.
- Communication and Care Planning
Palliative care emphasizes open and honest communication among healthcare providers, patients, and their families and caregivers. It helps facilitate discussions about treatment options, identifies priorities of care, and can assist in advance care planning, ensuring that values, preferences, and wishes are respected and incorporated into the care plan.
- An Extra Layer of Support for Families
Palliative care recognizes the importance of supporting family members and loved ones who may also experience significant emotional and practical burdens.
AIMS Institute’s palliative care clinic has been recognized and listed in the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) directory here.
Two of our providers, Moira Opalka, MSN, ARNP, LAc, and Sunil Aggarwal, MD, PhD, FAAHPM, FAAPMR are both certified Palliative Care Practitioners and can help to develop an integrative palliative care plan.
AIMS Institute Integrative Palliative Care Specializes in the Following Therapies
- Psychedelic Assisted Therapy (Ketamine Assisted Therapy)
- Medical cannabis
- Somatic Expression Therapy
- Family Systems Therapy
- Resources for Mind-body and Contemplative Practices, and Guided Imagery
- Interventional Therapies for pain
- Grief and Bereavement Therapy
- Resources for Medical Aid in Dying (MAID) and Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED)
- POLST form completion