Division of Geriatrics & Palliative Care
What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care (pronounced "pal-lee-uh-tiv") is the medical specialty focused on relief of the pain and other symptoms of serious illness. The goal is to prevent and ease suffering and to offer patients and their families the best possible quality of life.
The goals of palliative care are to:
- reduce suffering
- improve the quality of a seriously ill person's life
- support that person and their family during and after treatment
Palliative care is appropriate at any point in a serious or life-threatening illness. It is not dependent on prognosis. It can also be provided at the same time as curative and life-prolonging treatment.
Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care
Both hospice and palliative care focus on helping a person be comfortable by addressing issues causing physical or emotional pain or suffering.
Palliative medicine relieves the pain and other symptoms patients suffer due to serious illness, including cancer, cardiac disease, respiratory disease, kidney failure, Alzheimer's, AIDS, ALS, and MS.
Hospice care is for patients with a terminal diagnosis who are no longer seeking curative treatment. The focus of their care is on relieving symptoms and supporting them as they approach the last stages of life.
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