Palliative care, and the medical sub-specialty of palliative medicine, is specialized medical care for people living with serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care is provided by a team of palliative care doctors, nurses, social workers and others who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Palliative care is often associated with Hospice care and end of life. While most patients seen by palliative care have a serious or advanced illness, the palliative care team most often works alongside other medical teams in providing quality "person-centered" care for patients who are receiving life-sustaining or restorative treatments.
Palliative care is available in the hospital setting and in the outpatient Oncology clinic. In select patients, it is also available with a home-based care model. It includes treatment and assistance of patients and families facing the following conditions:
- heart failure
- lung disease
- advanced liver
- kidney problems, or
Common symptoms managed by Palliative Medicine specialists include:
- shortness of breath
In addition to assessing and treating patients with serious illnesses, we also help patients and their families make difficult medical decisions. If you or your loved one is hospitalized and in serious condition, you can request the involvement of the Palliative Care team.