What is palliative care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness - whatever the diagnosis.

The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient's health care team to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

How does palliative care differ from hospice care?

Palliative care is not hospice care. Palliative care is intended for people with complex illnesses that are seeking aggressive, curative medical treatment but need additional support, symptom management and chronic disease education. Hospice care is a benefit available to patients with a terminal diagnosis and a life expectancy of 6 months or less that no longer want or qualify for curative medical treatment.

How do I initiate a palliative care consultation?

We are here to answer all of your questions and to help direct you to the services you need. You or your loved one can request a consult with the palliative care team. Simply ask your doctor or nurse to make the call.