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What is Palliative Care

Palliative Care

What Is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is aimed at relieving suffering and improving quality of life for people with serious illness at any stage of the disease; whether that illness is curable, chronic, or life-threatening. Palliative care is a unique care provided by a team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and spiritual counselors who provide palliation for people who are seriously ill.

How Does Palliative Care Improve Quality of Life?

Palliative care treats people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses, such as: cancer, cardiac disease, congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, and many more. Palliative care focuses on care of the symptoms of disease, like: pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping associated with your diagnosis. Our goal in palliative care is to ensure that your symptoms are managed properly so that you may carry on with your day to day life.

Partnership Of Patient, Specialties & Family

Palliative care is a team approach to care. The palliative care team includes: doctors, nurses, social workers, and palliative care specialists who work together 24/7 to provide you care. Our team will support you and your family; not only by controlling your symptoms, but also by helping you understand your treatment options and goals.

Talking To Your Doctor

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious illness, you may benefit from palliative care. Speak to your doctor about your palliative care options.

nurse and elderly man

Infographic – BSC Palliative Care Flyer

Fact Sheet – BSC Palliative Care Flyer

Palliative Care Member Flyer

Palliative Care Provider Flyer

Take the Quiz: Is Palliative Care Right for You?

Answer the following questions to determine whether palliative care might be right for you or someone close to you. Remember, you can receive palliative care at any point in your illness.

Is Palliative Care Right for You?

Yes. Your first step is to call a local palliative care team. Check our Provider Directory to find palliative care in your community.

Is Palliative Care Right for You?

Since you answered "No" to these questions, you may not need palliative care. However, if you still feel you need it, please talk to your doctor.

Is Palliative Care Right for You?

Palliative care is something you may need. If you feel you may benefit from palliative care, please talk to your doctor.

  • Cancer
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, lung disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Neurological diseases (e.g., ALS, Parkinson's)
  • Dementia
Yes No
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
Yes No
  • Difficult side effects from treatment
  • Eating problems due to a serious illness
  • Frequent emergency room visits
  • Three or more admissions to the hospital within 12 months, and with the same symptoms
Yes No
  • Knowing what to expect
  • Knowing what programs and resources are available
  • Making medical decisions about treatment choices/options
  • Matching your goals and values to your medical care
  • Understanding the pros and cons (benefits/burdens) of treatments (e.g., dialysis, additional cancer treatments, surgery, etc.)
Yes No
  • Coping with the stress of a serious illness
  • Emotional support
  • Spiritual or religious support
  • Talking with your family about your illness and what is important to you
Yes No