Palliative Care

What is palliative care?

Palliative care aims to make a person as comfortable as possible. And to prevent and ease suffering. It is part of end-of-life care. But it can be used to care for people in any stage of disease. You may hear it called supportive care. Palliative care allows medical treatment to be given. But it focuses on:

  • Improving quality of life

  • Easing symptoms (such as pain) and stress

  • Reaching the best possible function (for instance, daily activities, physical activity, and self-care)

  • Helping with decision-making about end-of-life care

  • Providing emotional support to patients and their families

Talk with your healthcare provider or local hospital to see if palliative care is available in your area. Check with your health plan to see if this type of care is covered.

What are the patient's rights?

Patient's rights are a list of rights. These are to make sure that the quality of care, respect, and decision-making processes will be honored by the company, person, or institution providing care. These rights will be given to the patient and family before care starts. It's like a contract to protect the patient and family. It informs them of services and limits of the caregiver.

What are palliative care services?

Services can include:

  • Support for the patient and family members

  • Equipment to deliver medicines, nutrition, oxygen, and suction

  • Equipment such as special beds, toilets, chairs, wheelchairs, and bath requirements

  • Skilled nursing care, healthcare providers, pharmacists, and other specialists

  • Medicine and nutrition support

  • Spiritual, religious, and cultural needs and requests

  • Special services for siblings or children (for instance, support groups for families with young kids and teens)

  • Respite care allowing the family to rest

  • Grief (bereavement) care

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Melinda Murray Ratini DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2023
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