Palliative Care

Print Article Download PDF

Palliative care is medical care that concentrates on reducing the severity of disease symptoms without prolonging suffering. The goal is to prevent and relieve discomfort and to improve quality of life for people facing a fatal illness. Palliative care usually employs a team approach and may be provided at any time during a person's illness, even from the time of diagnosis. It may be given simultaneously with other treatments that attempt to treat the underlying disease.

Choosing a palliative care provider

The decision about the best place for your loved one to receive palliative care depends on your individual circumstances and should involve your family. In most cases, hospital units cannot provide the appropriate environment for longer term care, so look for palliative care programs that come to your home or provide a residential facility. Your medical team should be able to help you identify suitable places.

Palliative care resources