“For me, quality of life is sharing a funny story with my best friend and sister,
Kathleen, especially when I’m feeling anxious about my Parkinson’s.”
“I love spending Sunday afternoons with Nana. Quality of life is knowing
my pain will be managed so we can continue the tradition.”
“For me, quality of life is knowing my symptoms will be managed
so I can take Katie to the playground every day.”
“Molly has been my bride for 43 years. For me, quality of life includes knowing she’ll have access
to the care giving resources she’ll need as my cancer progresses.”
“For me, quality of life is spending time
with my granddaughter. “

Advancing Palliative Care Through Education

Every day, Life Quality Institute works to improve quality of life for individuals and families facing serious or life-limiting illness. Our goal is to transform healthcare in Colorado by equipping healthcare professionals and caregivers with the knowledge and skills they need to provide the best person- and family-centered care possible. Our hope is for patients like Mel.

Mel is a soft-spoken, retired engineer living with lung cancer. Through good palliative care education and practice, healthcare professionals treating him will have the expertise and tools they need to discover and respect what is important to Mel and his family. Mel’s  pain and other symptoms will be controlled. His anxieties and fears will be heard and eased. His wife and family caregivers will have access to the resources and emotional support they need. In short, they will receive palliative care. As a result, Mel and his family will have peace of mind and the best possible quality of life, even as his disease progresses. 

We invite you to explore our website to learn more about palliative care and the many resources LQI offers — for healthcare professionals, caregivers, and the community.

Are You Ready To Have “The Conversation”?

Decisions about one’s medical care, especially in a crisis or when a life-limiting illness progresses, are deeply personal and often difficult to confront or articulate. Yet, it is vitally important to take time to think about and discuss what matters to you most when it comes to your medical care. With its family vacations, reunions and other happy gatherings, summer is a perfect time to bring family members together to begin “The Conversation.”

LQI is launching a public engagement campaign to encourage individuals and families to have “The Conversation.” Between now and the end of the calendar year, there will be dozens of community and family gatherings hosted by our project partners and led by Conversation Project facilitators. At each event, attendees will learn about and have the opportunity to complete The Conversation Project Starter Kit. The kit offers helpful discussion questions and scales to drive values-based conversations about important topics such as: “What do you value most?”; “What could you not imagine living without?”; “How involved would you want to be in decisions about your care?”; We hope you’ll be one of the several hundred people we expect to participate in our Conversation Project campaign.  If you would like to schedule an event for a community or civic organization you are involved with, please contact us or one of our project partners:

If you are hosting a Conversation Project gathering, download our presentation materials now.

Learn About M.O.S.T.

Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment are "portable" consolidated medical orders intended primarily for chronically or seriously ill people in frequent contact with healthcare providers, or already residing in a nursing facility. The portability of MOST allows seamless documentation of treatment preferences and closes gaps as patients transfer from setting to setting. Read more.

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Attend One of Our Programs!

The Conversation Project - join one of the dozens of community/family gatherings we are supporting this year.

Online, On-Demand Education - A partnership with the Hospice Education Network.

I feel I can be a better physician now that I understand palliative care and the extra layer of support it offers patients and families."
Michael, third-year medical student

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Carl’s Story

Carl, an amiable Vietnam War veteran, was very ill. He had been diagnosed with aggressive cancer and had spent a week in an East Coast hospital being treated for the side effects of chemotherapy. He had been told he had less than a year to live. Weak and depressed, the widower moved to Colorado to be with his only daughter and son-in-law and their two young children. His daughter suggested they meet with a palliative care specialist. Carl, however, wasn’t sure. He thought palliative care meant hospice, and he wasn’t ready for that. Rather than disappoint his daughter, he agreed to go to one appointment.

The palliative care doctor put Carl at ease immediately. She answered his many questions, listened intently, and explained his options for care. Carl was especially surprised when early in their meeting the doctor inquired, “What are your goals?” No one else had bothered to ask. With tears in his eyes, Carl told the doctor that he’d like to live as long as he could with the best quality of life possible. He wanted to get to know his grandkids. For the first time since being diagnosed, Carl felt like someone saw him as a person – not a disease.

With Carl’s goals in mind, the doctor developed a care plan to get Carl’s symptoms under control. She streamlined his medications and worked with Carl’s oncologist to adjust his chemotherapy regime and to introduce palliative radiation treatments to address Carl’s pain. She also introduced counseling services to support Carl and his family through the emotional challenges of Carl’s advancing illness.

Carl lived another two years with the best quality of life possible. He clearly benefitted from good palliative care.

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