What is Palliative Care

Palliative care (pal-lee-uh-tiv) is the medical specialty

focused on relief of debilitating symptoms of serious or chronic illness.

Palliative care is NOT dependent on prognosis

  • Palliative Care can be delivered at the same time as aggressive medical interventions and treatment that are meant to cure disease. The goal is to relieve suffering and provide the best possible Quality of Life for patients and their families.

Palliative care relieves symptoms

  • Symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping. It helps patients gain the strength to carry on with daily life. It improves their ability to tolerate medical treatments. And it helps them better understand their choices for care. Overall, palliative care offers patients the best possible quality of life during their illness.

Palliative care is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

  • Patients have a range of diseases and respond differently to treatment options. A key benefit of palliative care is that it customizes treatment to meet the individual needs of each patient.

Palliative care benefits both patients and their families.

  • Symptom management, communication and support for the patient and family are the main goals of Palliative Care. Specialized physicians assist patients and families with medical decisions and treatments that are in line with their goals.

Palliative care is NOT the same as hospice care.

  • 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.

Hospice Care

  • Hospice care is a medical service for terminally ill patients, or those who no longer seek treatments to cure them and who are expected to live for about six months or less.