Care Decisions Information

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care provides patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness – whatever the diagnosis. Working with a patient’s physicians, a palliative care team of specialists can provide the patient and family with an extra layer of support.

How is palliative care different from hospice care? “Palliative care" and "hospice care" are terms often used interchangeably. Not only is that incorrect, but it also limits access to appropriate services and resources for patients and families early in the course of illness and treatment.

Unlike Hospice Care: Palliative care can be provided to patients who are expected to live with or recover from an illness. Palliative care can be provided together with treatments directed at curing an illness. Hospice patients always receive palliative care, but hospice focuses on a person’s last months of life.