What is Palliative Care?


Palliative Care is a type of medical treatment that addresses pain and symptom management, advance care planning, caregiving, safety assessments, provision psychosocial and spiritual support, medication, health care systems, and alternative treatments.

It is different from hospice care which addresses only patients who have been diagnosed with six months or less to live.

The Iyashi Care program, led by Dr. Glen Komatsu and Dr. Yuichi Edwin Yanami, will focus on bringing support and care directly to the participants. Outreach will be done via phone consultations and follow-up with 24/7 on-call physician availability; home visits; personalized outpatient visits to skilled nursing and assisted living facilities and to care homes and clinics; and mobile sites at community centers, temples, and churches.

Iyashi Care specifically caters to Japanese American and Japanese-speaking older adults with serious illnesses.

Why Choose Iyashi Care?

Patients respond differently to treatment options. A key benefit of palliative care is that it customizes treatment to meet the needs of each patient. Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness, even from the time of diagnosis. And it may be given at the same time as curative treatment.

Iyashi Care can provide pain and symptom relief while the patient simultaneously seeks curative treatment. Each patient is unique, so each approach needs to be tailor-made by the palliative care team to specifically meet your needs.

Team Oriented Care

Whenever a family member becomes ill, the illness takes a toll not only on the individual patient, but also on their family members. While doctors do their best to provide care for their patients, it’s not uncommon for the family to experience challenges, too. The Iyashi Care team will ensure that the patient is receiving the care they request and additionally work to help family members through the emotional stress of their loved one’s illness.

Cultural Sensitivity

Cultural values are prevalent and important in the Japanese American and Japanese community. Common approaches to medical care include gambaru, or trudging hard through difficult times, including poor health and discomfort. Shikata ga nai, or “it can’t be helped,” is another view that patients often have of their illness because they think that nausea or fatigue can’t be helped and is simply a side-effect of their medication. Even if the patient recognizes their symptoms or situation as something that can be managed, they may employ enryo because they would rather not burden their loved ones or doctors with their problems.

The Iyashi Care team recognizes these cultural values and is equipped to address them as they work to enhance the quality of life they experience.

Services Provided with Iyashi Care

  • Management of complex and changing symptoms
  • Assessment and care in one of our clinics or in your residence
  • Help to modify your health care plan based on your changing needs and conditions
  • Coordination with your medical team
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Proactive management of urgent needs and crisis situations
  • Emotional and spiritual support
  • Home safety evaluation
  • Ongoing education and support for you and your family
  • Referrals to hospice if needed
  • Assistance with end-of-life planning, including advance directive and POLST forms