Palliative care, which may also be referred to as palliative medicine or supportive care, is specialized medical care for individuals with chronic or advanced illness. Palliative medicine provides expert pain and symptom management and enhances quality of life, and is appropriate at any age and any stage of the illness, even during curative treatments.
Palliative care can provide relief from symptoms caused by serious illness including shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue and pain. Illnesses include Congestive Heart Failure, Lung Disease, Cancer, Kidney Disease, Stroke, ALS, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimers.
In addition to relieving pain and symptoms, the palliative care team helps you and your family understand the illness and available care options, while also helping to clarify goals of care and choose treatment along with your goals.
Supportive care is physical, emotional, and spiritual care for a person experiencing a serious illness. With Palliative care an individual may be receiving curative treatment and need additional support. While Hospice care is a type of palliative care, palliative care is not always considered hospice. Palliative care focuses on providing relief of symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal of these programs is to maximize a person’s quality of life through symptom management and to achieve comfort while focusing on the respect of the individual and their wishes.