Frequently Asked Questions

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people living with a life-limiting illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a life-limiting illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by our specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support.

Why choose Palliative Care?

Palliative Care has been proven to benefit patients in many ways. Studies of patients who have cancer and early Palliative Care involvement report:

  • Better understanding of their disease and prognosis
  • Better control over decision-making
  • Greater patient satisfaction with care plan and their providers
  • Improved QOL
  • Get treatments that are more aligned with their wishes
  • Less depression and anxiety

Who might need Palliative Care?

Any patient with chronic life limiting illness may benefit from palliative care. Some but not all include patients with the following diseases:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Renal disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

How do I know if Palliative Care is right for me or my loved one?

Palliative care may be right for you if you are experiencing pain, stress, and other symptoms due to a serious illness. Serious illnesses include but are not limited to cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness, and you can get it along with treatment meant to cure you.

What is the different between Hospice and Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is specialized medical care for individuals living with a serious illness. Palliative Care patients may receive care for their symptoms along with treatment intended to cure their serious illness. Palliative Care is provided along with curative treatment and may begin at the time of diagnosis.

As with both Palliative Care and Hospice Care, an individual’s care focuses on quality of life for them AND their family. Both palliative care and hospice care provide services wherever the individual calls home – whether that be a hospital, nursing home, specialized clinics or family home. Both services will educate on choices for medical care as well as social, emotional and practical support, just with a different focus for the type of care and treatment goals.

Hospice Care is an increasingly utilized option for people with a terminal diagnosis as an end-of-life care option. Instead of a focus on curative treatment, hospice is care focused on care, comfort and quality of life. Hospice is designed for those patients that choose not to continue to undergo certain treatments.

What is the difference between Palliative Care and regular care?

Traditional medicine is focused on prevention, cure or treatment. Palliative Care is first focused on the comfort and wishes of the patient. In Palliative Care, the focus is on ensuring, that their physical, emotional and spiritual symptoms are addressed and that patients are informed as much as they want to be about their illness, including prognosis and treatment options. It adds that extra support that a patient with a chronic life limiting illness often needs.