Palliative care helps people with a serious illness feel better; physically, emotionally and spiritually. It focuses improving quality of life at any stage of an illness.
An example is managing pain that may arise with an illness. Because everyone deals with pain differently, we listen to patients, family members and doctors to help patients get relief at the right level and at the right time.
Palliative care includes:
- Managing pain to your desired levels
- Medical support for shortness of breath
- Help with fatigue and sleep problems
- Managing constipation
- Managing nausea or loss of appetite
- Reducing anxiety and depression
- Medical social services
- Spiritual care
Palliative care can begin as soon as someone is diagnosed with an illness. It does not signal that a person has given up hope for recovery or a cure. Some patients with chronic diseases may move in and out of palliative care as the need arises, or transition to hospice if their prognosis is six months or less.