Empowering Lives Through Palliative Care: A Personal Journey

My name is Kelley Elwell. I am a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner and providing community education is my passion. Ensuring that all patients suffering from cancer, dementia or any debilitating illness have the resources they need to have a meaningful quality of life is how I put my passion into practice.

I have the privilege of overseeing our Palliative Care Consultative Service, a unique, community-based program for patients and families living with serious illnesses. This service enables us to provide resources and education to our patients, with the goal of enabling them to age in place, wherever they call home. We provide in-home consultations for advanced care planning, emotional support, disease education, and pain and symptom management, all while continuing to support our patients as they continue to seek curative or palliative treatments. I personally work hand-in-hand with each patient’s medical provider and health care team to manage their pain and symptoms and help them achieve their optimal quality of life.

You may be surprised to know that palliative care is available to patients of any age and in all stages of life-limiting disease. Exploring their individual goals of care and creating documents to reflect their personal wishes are just one of the many benefits our patients derive from our efforts to empower them to maintain independence in the face of serious illness.

Recently, I had the privilege to visit with a patient who agreed to let us share her story. Here are some highlights:

“What is your secret to living to be 102 years old?”

That’s the question I posed to Anna Chandler. Her response was,

Keeping with her independent spirit and desire to live life to the fullest, we provided Anna with advanced care planning and help creating the documents that will see her care-plans fulfilled. We also provided family support and education, so that her loved ones can be active and engaged participants in her plans. The appreciation that Anna expressed was so gratifying.

I am proud of the work we do and I’m so grateful to be part of an organization that has such a deep-rooted commitment to our community and recognizes the need for Palliative Care for Central Vermonters. CVHHH’s investment in this care is an affirmation of their mission and desire to offer our community the very best of what is available in health care…right in the comfort of home. I hope this brief information has helped you to understand what a truly special resource CVHHH and its programs are and why I love the work that I do in our community.

Your support today would help sustain programs like this and help ensure the continued availability of high-quality home health and hospice services right here in Central Vermont. If you are inspired to invest in CVHHH, please give today. For more information about our Palliative Care Consultative Service, click here, or feel free to call me at 802-223-1878.

Thank you for your consideration and support.

Warm regards,

Kelley Elwell, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

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