What is Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people at any stage of a serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care provides an extra layer of support.

Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other clinicians doctors. Palliative Care helps your healthcare team doctors talk to each other and is a team to address all of your concerns. Palliative care is based on the needs of the patient, not on the patient’s prognosis. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage of a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.

Palliative Care Improves Quality of Life

Palliative care teams improve on quality of life for the patients at any stage of a serious illness. They treat people suffering from the symptoms and stress of serious illnesses and those who care for them.

Relieves Suffering From Symptoms and Stress

The goal of palliative care is to relieve suffering and provide the best possible quality of life for patients and their families. Symptoms may include pain, depression, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, and anxiety. The team will help you gain the strength to carry on with daily life. In short, palliative care reduces physical discomfort and makes living with a serious illness easier.

And recent studies, including one published in the New England Journal of Medicine, have shown that patients with a serious illness who received palliative care lived longer than those who did not receive this care.

Helps You Match Treatment Options to Your Goals

The palliative care team understands that you have a say in your care. After you tell your providers what matters most to you, they match your treatment choices to your goals. They will also make sure that your healthcare team knows and understands what you want. This gives you more control as you have a say in your care and can get the care that’s right for you.

Works Together with Your Other Health Professionals

Palliative care teams are specialists who work together with you, your loved ones and your healthcare team. They provide an extra layer of support when you need it most. In addition to treating your symptoms and stress and supporting you and your family, palliative care helps clinicians talk to each other so that everyone is on the same page. It’s an extra layer of support you every step of the way

How to Get Palliative Care?

If you or a loved one is facing a serious illness, you may benefit from palliative care. You can have palliative care at any stage of a serious illness. Search this GOCCNJ Palliative Care Provider Directory to find it near you. Take the quiz if you’re not sure. Then speak to your provider, and ask for it. Bring the handout with you!


quiz checkmark

Take this quick quiz to found out

Icon of Let's Talk

A guide to Advance Care Planning (ACP)
external link icon

external link icon
4Step iCarePlan

Making difficult medical decisions
external link icon

CAPC info sheet

At-a glance info sheet
external link icon

search icon

GOCCNJ Palliative Care Provider Directory

Source: Center to Advance Palliative Care, getpalliativecare.org.