Palliative Care Implementation Program

We offer an implementation guide and program to help you start and keep a palliative care program going within your organization.

Dementia Care Challenges

Palliative Care

For the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, palliative care looks at the whole person and the variety of ways they might be suffering as they enter a long-term care home.

Based on the great work of Dr. Michael Brescia of Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, our focus is on the five domains of pain—physical, emotional, familial, spiritual, and psychiatric—experienced in long-term care. It is this comprehensive, person-centered care that sets the Carmelite Sisters’ palliative care apart.

Implementation Guide

The Palliative Care Implementation Program examines the processes and components required for a successful program. Based on AIG’s 18-month pilot program, the guide outlines the obstacles which facilities typically face and how to work through them. It delineates the structures necessary to succeed (e.g., steering committees, unit teams), the five domains of pain, assessments to use with residents and how to sustain a quality program over time.

Benefits Dementia Care Training

Our Palliative Care Education Program


We at the Avila Institute of Gerontology believe that people in all stages of life deserve to be cared for in their entirety- Spirit, Soul, and Body. With this philosophy, our expert staff who bring years of academic expertise and compassionate hands-on care to the table look forward to bringing our Palliative Care Implementation Program to your facility. Invest in your employees and the residents in your home will in turn, experience greater satisfaction in their lives.

Dementia Care Philosophy
Dementia Care Training Teamwork

Staff Training

With our program, our faculty stress the importance of:

  • Understanding the different types of pain and how to manage them
  • The role of the healthcare professional as an advocate for the residents
  • Culture and faith traditions during palliative care and end-of-life care
  • An interdisciplinary and team approach to enhance each resident’s quality of care

After completing the program, your staff will leave understanding how and why palliative care starts upon a resident’s admission to your facility.

Continued Support

After the program, it is encouraged that long-term care homes are able to continue staff training on their own and we are available for support regarding future questions about specific situations that may arise.

Dementia Care Training Continued Support

Palliative Care Implementation Curriculum

The AIG Palliative Care Education Program is based in part on the Geriatric Curriculum developed by the End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC). It was modified to embody the mission and values of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. Additional experts in the field of long-term care contributed to the material as well.

Click the topic title for a module description.

Module 1: Principles of Palliative Care

This session creates the foundation for palliative care based on the Sanctity of Life statement of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm. The defines palliative care and its differences from hospice care. It identifies the five domains of pain as well as how to assess and manage them. Also included is a discussion of the role of all caregivers in palliative care.

Module 2: Assessing and Managing Pain

Comprehensive pain assessment is essential for adequate pain relief. This session outlines the direct caregiver’s role in assessing and relieving physical pain as well as ways to address non-pain symptoms.

Module 3: Implementing and Sustaining a Palliative Care Program

The lack of good palliative care is due in part to barriers that long-term care facilities face when implementing a palliative care program. This session outlines ways to overcome them and identify individual and organizational plans for achieving excellence in palliative care.

Module 4: Communication

The importance of truly being present is the best form of communication when facing life-changing events. Communicating is more than talking and listening. Asking the right questions and listening to the unspoken words is crucial to understanding resident wishes. Communicating with the cognitively impaired involves a different set of strategies. This session discusses difficult conversations and guidelines for use.

Module 5: Comforting the Dying: Faith Traditions and Spiritual Assessments

Spiritual and cultural considerations are a key component of palliative care. This session explores diverse teachings of the afterlife within different faith traditions. Understanding healthy spiritual care requires attention to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. This session provides a framework for spiritual assessments that help to identify a resident’s spiritual pain and offers ways to transform it to hope and peace.

Module 6: Care at the Time of Death: Ensuring Quality Care

Care at the time of death requires the attention to all the needs of the resident as well as the special needs of the family and loved ones. The preparation necessary to ensure the best care provided during the trajectory of illness is discussed. This session includes discussion of the role of nursing staff and the spiritual needs of the resident and the staff at this unique time.

Module 7: Ethical Issues at the End of Life

 This session discusses some of the key ethical issues surrounding the respect for life that governs the philosophy of care and the teachings of the Catholic Tradition. The professional codes and standards of the Catholic Tradition serve as an example to facilitate a resolution of ethical dilemmas. Ethics is a part of our ministry from the moment we begin caring for a resident and the role of caregiver is important.

Module 8: Loss, Grief, and Bereavement

Palliative care addresses the challenges of loss, grief and bereavement in older adults, their families and their loved ones, as well as the loss experienced by caregivers. Palliative care can facilitate adaptation to loss and greatly relieve distress and suffering for the families and for those caring for the terminally ill. Care for the caregiver or self-care is an important part of providing care to others.

Our Introduction on How to Implement Palliative Care Includes:

  • In-person or virtual training for unlimited participants hosted by your organization
  • 3 hours of training
  • Class materials
  • Available for future support

For More Information

Contact us to learn more about our palliative care implementation program. Call us at 518-537-5000 or email us at or use the Contact Form below.