Palliative Care Improves Quality of Life for Those with Chronic Illness

Colleen O'Connell, RN, is the Palliative Bridge Coordinator for All Care VNA & Hospice. Native to Lynn, Colleen graduated Lynn Classical High School and received a degree in Management from Regis College in 2002 before choosing to return to receive her nursing degree from Lawrence Memorial Regis College Nursing program in 2010.   Colleen worked as a fulltime nurse at New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Woburn before joining All Care VNA as a fulltime case manager, eventually moving on to run the Palliative Bridge Program for All Care VNA & Hospice.       Palliative Care Improves Quality of Life for Those with Chronic Illness   The All Care Bridge is a Palliative Support Program designed to provide education and resources to patients dealing with chronic illness. As the Bridge nurse, one of the most common questions I am asked is 'how do you know when it's time for a program like yours?' It can be confusing and frightening for families to approach the subject of advancing illness. The All Care Bridge team is uniquely positioned to assist patients, families, and providers with addressing disease progression and which services provide the most benefit. Real life examples where the All Care Bridge, a collaboration between All Care's VNA and Hospice programs, can be helpful and serve as guidance. One particular case that comes to mind is the case of Margie, a 78 year old woman who was living with her son but spent the majority of her day home alone; Margie was living with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) however, after a number of hospitalizations which required rehabilitation stays, she...