Palliative care helps people feel better by addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual problems that may arise with a serious illness. It can also reduce or eliminate the side effects from medical treatments.
Palliative care is available to patients of all ages, at any stage of a serious illness. It's not just for patients with terminal conditions. Learn more about the differences between palliative care and hospice.
Effective palliative care starts with honest conversations about the patient's goals and priorities. For example, people experience pain differently. Listening helps us manage pain and side effects to a level that works best for each person.
Improving quality of life by treating or managing:
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Other symptoms that lead to distress
Families are also included in palliative support services
- Help patients, family and friends with emotional or spiritual needs
- Coaching for family caregivers
- Therapy services
- Respite care, sometimes called relief care, when caregivers need a break or care becomes too complex
If you or a loved one are concerned about unmanaged pain or other symptoms, you may benefit from an extra layer of help. Ask your doctor for a palliative care consultation. Medicare and many other types of insurance typically cover palliative care consultations.
Referrals are most common from these conditions:
- Heart disease
- COPD and other lung diseases
- Kidney failure
- Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
- Liver disease
- Parkinson's disease
- ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
- Eosinophil-Associated Disease (EAD)
- Huntington's disease