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Palliative Care
Palliative Care
Palliative care is a type of care for people who have illnesses that do not go away and often get worse with time. The goal of palliative care is to improve quality of life - not just in the body, but also in the mind and spirit. Many people combine palliative care with other types of treatment.
Palliative care can help manage symptoms, pain, or side effects from treatment. It can help people cope with their feelings about living with a chronic illness. It may even help with planning for future health and medical care.
In the past, palliative care was mostly used to treat people receiving hospice care. Today, this type of care can help anyone who has an illness or disease that cannot be cured. More and more health professionals are using palliative care, and many are specially trained to provide it. View a list of certified palliative medicine physicians.
Effective palliative care is patient-centered. It involves:
  • Individuals firmly expressing their values, goals of care and preferences regarding their care.
  • Communicating the patient's wishes and preferences to the health care professionals providing the care.
  • The health care professionals providing treatments consistent with these values, beliefs and goals.
  • The proper documentation of these preferences
Note: Palliative care can be appropriate at any stage of a serious and complex chronic illness, whereas Hospice care attends to patients and their families who have a life expectancy of six months or less.
The tools below provide further information so you can make well-informed decisions in relation to palliative and hospice care:
There are several reasons Palliative Care is a necessary component of medical care:
  • The population is aging which means more people will need these services in the future.
  • There is an increasing prevalence of chronic disease.
  • Advancing medical technology is prolonging the dying process. As medicine improves, sicker people are able to live longer. This requires more effective pain and symptom management at the end of life.

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Palliative care:
Palliative care is the ultimate kindness for patients and their loved ones.
  • Affirms the patient's life.
  • Relieves symptoms: nausea, fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety, depression, weakness.
  • Emphasizes effective Pain Management.
  • Provides the patient the best quality of life possible at the end of their life, while retaining their dignity and respecting their values and preferences.
  • Provides disease treatment while offering relief from suffering.
  • Helps to achieve a sense of control.
  • Offers to address any spiritual issues.
  • Relieves some of the burden placed on loved ones.
  • Provides support systems for family and friends.
  • Strengthens personal relationships.
  • Establishes a mechanism for warning of potential medical crises. Earlier intervention leads to better disease management, reduced hospital admissions, and improved patient comfort and satisfaction.

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Effective Palliative Care is patient-centered care. Effective Palliative Care involves:
  • Individuals firmly expressing their values, goals of care and preference regarding their care.
  • The communication of these wishes and preferences to the health care professionals providing the care.
  • The health care professionals providing treatments consistent with these values, beliefs and goals.
  • The proper documentation of these preferences.

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