Iyashi Care

A Keiro-Providence Partnership: Advancing quality of life through our whole person approach, Iyashi Care provides palliative care for Japanese American and Japanese older adults with serious illnesses.

In August 2017, Keiro and Providence Health & Services announced a partnership to bring culturally sensitive palliative care to Japanese American and Japanese-speaking older adults who are living with advanced or chronic illnesses and/or debilitating or life-limiting symptoms.

This innovative program’s team of doctors, nurses, and social workers works closely with the patient’s existing health care team to provide an extra layer of support as patients pursue the best possible quality of life.

As the first of its kind in the nation, the Keiro-Providence Iyashi Care program leverages Providence’s nationally renowned leadership in palliative treatment and Keiro’s deep experience and history of providing health and support services to older adults in the Japanese American and Japanese community. The program goal is to improve the quality of life for these older adults by enabling them to continue living in their community, while decreasing hospital admissions.

Contact us at 213.873.5791 or programs@keiro.org for more information.


Learn more about Iyashi Care (Menu):

Getting Past the Enryo: How a 30 Minute Talk Made a Difference
Iyashi Care Story: The Relief I Felt with the “Care Specialists”
Iyashi Care Story: The Team that Listened to Me, My Mother, and Our Needs


What is Iyashi Care?

Iyashi (癒し) is a Japanese word that means to heal. When older adults in our community are diagnosed with a serious illness or are living with debilitating symptoms, they and their families are faced with many difficult decisions. Our Iyashi Care program seeks to bring peace of mind to these older adults and their families by providing them with a team of healthcare professionals to help them through these decisions by using a whole person care approach that is attentive to their unique needs.

What Services are Provided by Iyashi Care?

Iyashi Care is an outpatient program, meaning that enrolled patients will be able to receive care wherever they feel most comfortable. Since no two patients are the same, our team works with the patient and their loved ones to learn about their concerns, priorities, and care preferences. Depending on their needs, a patient may receive any of the following services:

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

Iyashi Care serves Japanese American and Japanese older adults, and provides culturally sensitive palliative care based on the individual’s preferences, needs, and values.

When Do I Need Iyashi Care?

Palliative care may be provided at any time during a person’s illness, including from the time of diagnosis. And it may be given at the same time as curative treatment.

If you are diagnosed with a serious illness that affects your quality of life (including but not limited to: cancer, heart conditions, respiratory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), or any other life-limiting conditions), please contact us to inquire about how Iyashi Care can help you (213.873.5791).

Sometimes these situations can drastically change a family’s dynamics and make it difficult to have certain conversations. Our Iyashi Care team can also provide help for families who are struggling with decision-making about complex medical issues, or need help with setting goals of care.

What is the Cost of Iyashi Care?

Patients who are enrolled in the Iyashi Care program will be eligible to receive ongoing consultations – in person, or by phone, teleconference, videochat, etc. – free of charge. The cost of any additional services should be discussed with the Providence team and your insurance provider.

For additional information about Iyashi Care or to enroll, please contact 213.873.5791 or programs@keiro.org.

Why Iyashi Care?

People respond differently to treatment options. A key benefit of palliative care is that it customizes treatment to meet the needs of each person.

For example, Iyashi Care can provide pain and symptom relief while the person simultaneously seeks curative treatment. Each person is unique, so every approach is tailor-made with a culturally sensitive mindset to meet your needs.

Iyashi Care is:

Team-Oriented Care for Patients and Families

While your current healthcare team will do their best to provide you with the highest quality of care, it is not uncommon for you and your family to feel lost and unheard. Our Iyashi Care team’s priority is to address the emotional stress that often occurs during treatment and to ensure that patients and their families are able to take an active role in the decision-making process.  

Culturally Sensitive

Cultural values still very much influence healthcare decisions for patients in the Japanese American and Japanese community. It is a common mentality during treatment that one should gambaru (endure through difficult times, including poor health and discomfort). Shikata ga nai (it cannot be helped) is another view that patients often have of their illness because they think that nausea or fatigue is simply a side effect of their medication that they must tolerate. 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 our older adults experience.