Palliative & Supportive Care

Palliative care to support you through it all

The UM Health-Sparrow Palliative Care Program was founded in 2002 to ensure the delivery of compassionate, supportive care for patients dealing with serious illness. We are committed to helping our patients and their loved ones meet the challenges -- no matter what they may be. We believe in maintaining patient dignity while supporting individual patient and family wishes.

Palliative care focuses on the whole person, no matter the diagnosis. Our mission is to provide compassionate care to everyone, every time. Palliative care provides the opportunity to review goals of care when facing serious illness and is appropriate at any stage, as well as working alongside curative treatments. We're here to support you, provide management tools and to help maintain your quality of life.

Our commitment to you

We are committed to relieving symptoms including, but not limited to, pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, depression, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Our team works for you along with your primary care physician to identify needs, understand options, provide symptom control and review the goals of care when facing serious illness. Our Palliative Care Team is a physician-led, multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals from the community who are committed to excellence in helping you in whatever way your illness requires. 

Transitions Home Palliative Care

UM Health-Sparrow Transitions Home Palliative Care Service is designed to help those facing the challenges of living with a life-limiting illness. This program was created to help patients who need symptom management, psychological and social support. Care is provided by specialized registered nurses (RN) and master social workers (MSW). Overall care is directed by the individual's physician.

Weekly contacts are provided by phone or home visit by the nurse or social worker to ensure continuity of care and ongoing support. The nurse serves as a case manager by assessing needs, providing nursing interventions, and education to each patient and those involved in their care. Patients will also have access to a 24 hour on-call nurse who will provide assistance by phone or direction for more acute care needs that may arise.

The social worker will assess psychosocial needs, provide support, and facilitate referrals to community resources. Addressing advance directives and developing a long-term care plan is another service provided by the social worker.

Goals of Care

  • Optimal quality of life through pain and symptom management
  • Avoidance of hospitalizations through home management of symptoms as appropriate
  • Psychosocial support for patient, caregivers, and family
  • Empowerment of patients and their families through understanding their end of life care options in order to make informed decisions
  • Timely, appropriate referrals to community resources or other services

Who Qualifies for UM Health-Sparrow Transitions?

  • Individuals with a life-limiting illness who are still actively receiving treatment
  • A life expectancy of a year or less
  • Patient whose physician maintains supervision and is willing to work with UM Health-Sparrow Transitions

Five Wishes Advanced Planning Guide

There are many things in life that are out of our hands. The Five Wishes document, is the first living will that talks about your personal, emotional, and spiritual needs, as well as your medical wishes. It was written with the help of The American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging and gives you a way to control something very important - how you are treated if you get seriously ill. It is an easy-to-complete form that lets you say exactly what you want. Once it is filled out properly signed it is valid under the laws of most states.