Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care

Palliative Care is focused on improving the overall wellness of individuals with painful or serious illnesses. It addresses both the physical symptoms and the emotional stress of living with a chronic illness. It can also provide support for loved ones or caregivers. As it is based on individual needs, Palliative Care can be quite different from one person to the next.

Nurse caring for patient in their home

How is Palliative Care different from Hospice?

Palliative Care differs from Hospice services in that Palliative care focuses on making the patient comfortable and their symptoms more manageable while still treating the disease. Hospice care focuses on patients who have chosen to stop all aggressive treatments and are seeking comfort measures until the end of life.

Who is eligible?

Palliative Care is appropriate for patients in all disease stages including those undergoing treatment for curable illnesses, those living with chronic disease and patients who are nearing the end of life.

Benefits of Palliative Care

Palliative Care utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Input from many allied health professionals is used to formulate a plan of care focused on relieving areas of distress in a patient’s life.

Palliative Care’s approach allows the team to address physical, emotional, spiritual and social concerns that arise with advanced illness.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice
Palliative Care Hospice Care
Begins at time of diagnosis of a serious or chronic illness or debilitating injury When a patient is considered "terminal" with generally less than 6 months to live
No disease-specific criteria for care Disease specific care
Goal: manage symptoms for serious life-limiting illness or injury, quality of life Goal: manage symptoms, quality of life
Interdisciplinary team approach Interdisciplinary team approach
Provided inpatient or outpatient Typically provided in patient's home, nursing home, assisted living or hospice home
All hospice is palliative care Not all palliative care is hospice
May include aggressive curative care Aggressive symptom management without curative treatment
Expenses are covered primarily by fee for service, direct hospital support or philanthropy Covered by insurance/Medicare Part A/Medicaid, most private insurance