When you’re living with a serious illness, you often need more than the medical treatment you’re already receiving. Palliative care provides an extra layer of support by helping patients and families manage pain and other symptoms, offering emotional and spiritual support, comfort care and improved quality of life.
If you have a serious illness — or care for someone who does — our palliative care team at Scripps may be right for you.
Palliative care is a supportive type of health care designed to benefit patients living with complex, chronic and serious illness, and their families. Unlike hospice care, which supports terminally ill patients through the end of life, palliative care can be provided with curative medical treatments and is appropriate regardless of age or disease stage. With a compassionate approach and the patients preferences in mind, we help maintain the highest quality of life possible during illness.
Scripps palliative care offers a range of benefits to patients, family and caregivers, including:
- Help with pain relief
- Management of symptoms, such as nausea, shortness of breath, lack of appetite, dementia, depression, anxiety, grief and fatigue
- Access to education and resources related to care
- Assistance with care-related decisions, advanced care planning and appropriate documentation
- Coordination of all aspects of care, including medical, emotional and spiritual services
- Help with a smooth transition from the hospital to home and community, and referrals to our outpatient clinic
Patients who have been diagnosed with a serious illness, or who have a complex ongoing medical condition that affects their quality of life, may benefit from palliative care support and resources. In addition, palliative care can help people who are often hospitalized or frequently require emergency care.
Our patients have a range of conditions including:
- Congestive heart failure
- Advanced heart failure and left ventricular assist device (LVAD)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- End-stage renal failure (ESRF)
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Advanced lung disease
Our dedicated, multidisciplinary team offers the combined expertise and resources of experienced, caring palliative care specialists, including:
- Board-certified palliative medicine physicians
- Nurse practitioners
- Registered nurses
- Licensed clinical social workers
Should patients or families need other resources, such as in-home care or legal assistance, we can help with appropriate referrals.
Please prepare for your first appointment with Scripps Palliative Care by locating and organizing your medical records. Please plan to bring your records and documents, including:
- One valid photo identification (driver’s license, state ID, military ID or passport)
- Current insurance card(s)
- A list of your current physicians with addresses and phone numbers
- A list of your medications and dosages
- Your pharmacy’s contact information
- A list of any allergies you have
- Medical power of attorney, living will and/or POLST form (if you have them)
If palliative care is new to you and your family, you'll likely have questions for your physician and palliative care team. Here are some of the most common questions patients ask:
- How do I cope with physical changes as a result of my illness?
- What can be done to improve my symptoms?
- What are the roles of other physicians and care providers while I am receiving palliative care support?
- What are the common side effects of my medications and should I stop taking any of my current medications?
- Can someone help me communicate with other family members and is there any support available for them?
Patients benefit most from palliative support when they are referred by their Scripps specialist or primary care physician.
Use Referring to Dept: SHGH OP PALLIATIVE
Scripps offers palliative care clinics in La Jolla and Hillcrest. Both locations require a referral from your doctor before scheduling an appointment.
Outpatient palliative care clinic
10670 John Jay Hopkins Drive
La Jolla, CA 92121
Monday: 9 am – 2 pm
Tuesday: 9 am – 5 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm
Friday: 9 am – 2 pm
Appointments only, no walk-ins.
As leaders in health care, we know what it takes to manage a chronic or serious illness. That’s why we equip our patients with the support and resources necessary to achieve their best possible outcome. From connecting you with support groups and services to empowering you with the latest resources and research, Scripps offers comprehensive care to help you along every step of your journey.
Scripps offers a variety of patient support services to ensure your physical, psychological and emotional well-being, as well as resources for dealing with the logistical and financial aspects of your care. Our services and resources include:
- Home health care services when you require skilled intermittent care in the comfort of your home.
- Nutrition and weight-maintenance services via registered dietitians of Scripps Center for Weight Management and Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.
- Physical rehabilitation and occupational therapy services including wound care, voice therapy and balance and vestibular rehabilitation, yoga and more.
- Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine for patients interested in mind-body healing through acupuncture, biofeedback, herbal nutrition, massage therapy and integrative cancer care.
- Visiting patient services if you reside beyond San Diego and want help arranging appointments or learning more about short-term lodging.
- Financial guidance and assistance for the uninsured and those struggling to pay medical costs and eligible for full or partial charity, the cash pay program or interest-free payment plans.
- Health insurance information to help you navigate the process of finding a physician who fits your needs and health plan
For the full list of offerings, please visit our patient resources section.
In support of our patients, their family members and the community, Scripps hosts a range of free workshops and health and wellness events on a number of topics from heart health to parenting classes, including topics such as:
Check the current list of support offerings, or contact your social worker or case manager.