Palliative Care
What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for persons with serious illness that:

  • Focuses on comfort and improves the quality of life through the management of troubling symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, or nausea.
  • Provides education regarding disease progressions and assists in identifying goals of care.
  • Monitors for condition changes to avoid repeat hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Palliative care is provided at any stage of illness and can be provided simultaneously with curative treatment or skilled care.

How is Palliative Care different from Hospice Care?

People often wonder about the difference between palliative care and hospice care. As demonstrated in the diagram below, all hospice care is palliative, but not all palliative care is hospice.

Hospice is palliative care at the end of life, generally for individuals with a prognosis of six months or less.

Palliative care extends beyond that six-month timeframe to any experience of serious illness throughout the life span. Furthermore, patients receiving palliative care can continue to pursue curative treatment.

Palliative Care