Palliative care is comprehensive care — including management of your physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs — as you face complex or life-threatening illness. Palliative care is designed to ensure comfort, dignity and control in your life.
Often palliative care is mistakenly interpreted as hospice care. Although hospice is a palliative service, it is different. Palliative care can provide guidance during any phase of your illness unlike hospice which provides care at home or in a home-like setting specifically in the last weeks or months of life.
You and your family may benefit from a palliative care consultation if you:
- Have questions about your illness and treatment goals
- Experience frequent emergency room visits or hospital stays
- Are undergoing treatments that are no longer as helpful as they once were
- Need help with advance care planning, so that your wishes will be followed if you become too sick to voice them yourself
- Seek emotional or spiritual support during your illness
- Experience troublesome symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, anxiety and nausea
- Need assistance in transitioning to hospice care