What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. Whatever the diagnosis may be, palliative care focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious or chronic illness, with the overarching goal to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is both used in hospice and outside of hospice. All hospices provide palliative care for end-of-life patients, some hospices have palliative care programs for those outside of the hospice eligibility.

Like hospice, palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.