About Palliative Care

Palliative care is a specialized medical care that focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and their family. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided alongside curative treatment.

Palliative care teams typically consist of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and other healthcare professionals who work together to address the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their families. They provide pain and symptom management, help with decision-making, offer emotional and spiritual support, and assist with practical matters such as advanced care planning.

One important aspect of palliative care is its emphasis on holistic care, meaning that it addresses not only physical symptoms but also psychological, social, and spiritual concerns. It aims to help patients and their families cope with the challenges of serious illness and improve their overall quality of life, regardless of the prognosis.

It's important to note that palliative care is not the same as hospice care, although they share some similarities. Hospice care is a type of palliative care specifically for people who are nearing the end of life, typically with a prognosis of six months or less, and who have chosen to focus on comfort care rather than curative treatment. Palliative care, on the other hand, can be provided at any stage of a serious illness, alongside curative treatment if desired.

Hospice and Palliative Care Information Sheet