Palliative care is a type of care provided to individuals with a serious illness and focuses on improving the patient’s quality of life during treatment for serious illnesses. Patients typically get palliative care alongside their regular treatments, which is available for patients of all ages. Palliative care is intended to help relieve physical symptoms of the disease, manage pain levels, and mitigate side effects resulting from disease treatment. It also provides mental, spiritual and physical support for the patient and family satisfaction.

An image representing a palliative care specialist working on symptom relief

Who Needs Palliative Care?

Anyone who is facing a life-threatening illness is eligible for palliative care. This includes adults, elderly individuals and children. Palliative care isn’t limited just to people who are at the end of life, as hospice care typically is, but can be used simultaneously along with other treatments, such as chemotherapy or organ transplant care, to improve quality of life.

Where is Palliative Care Provided?

Palliative care is provided in various settings. Hospitals are one common location, particularly for patients who require intensive and specialized medical care. Nursing homes also provide palliative care services, often for residents with chronic or advanced illnesses who require long-term curative treatment assistance. Additionally, it can be delivered in the comfort of patients’ homes, allowing them to receive personalized, compassionate support while remaining in familiar surroundings.

What Palliative Care Involves

Palliative care takes a whole-person approach to treatment and support in any setting chosen. Upon entering palliative care, you work with a team of doctors, nurses, counselors, physical therapists, and other professionals. Together, they provide comprehensive support and symptom management, aiming to relieve suffering and enhance the comfort and well-being of both the patient and their families. 

Because palliative care is specific to the individual and the existing treatment regimen, it may take a variety of different forms. In most cases, palliative care involves pain medication management, in which the palliative care doctor adjusts medicine dosage to minimize suffering during treatment or recovery.

Palliative care might also include emotional or spiritual support in the form of a counselor or religious clergy member who listens to the patient’s concerns and offers feedback or advice as requested.

Social workers or volunteers involved in palliative care might help you complete tasks such as scheduling appointments, running errands or arranging transportation to your doctor’s office. Home assistants involved in palliative care might help relieve the burden of caregivers and assist with everyday chores, such as cooking and cleaning. Palliative care teams can also provide information to family members about your treatment and care decisions.

Choosing Palliative Care

Image Alt: An image representing palliative and hospice services at Three Oaks Hospice

Choosing palliative care isn’t an all-or-nothing decision. The personalized nature of this type of advance care planning means that you can opt to get help with specific aspects of your condition or get all-encompassing assistance with daily living tasks during your recovery.

If you opt for palliative care, you don’t need to give up fighting your illness or pursuing treatment options. This type of care works in conjunction with other care, and your palliative care doctor can coordinate with the medical team providing treatment to ensure you have all the support you need.

While receiving palliative services alongside traditional medical treatments, a patient can set specific goals, values and long-term priorities for their care. For some patients, this might include developing a plan to transition into hospice care after trying treatment for a specific period of time. For others, it might mean seeking out alternative treatment options, continuing with treatment to prolong life indefinitely or participating in clinical trials. Your palliative care team can help you take the path you prefer by assisting with arrangements to extend or end specific treatments. 

Choose Three Oaks For Palliative Care

Contact Us
First Name
First Name
This form is being filled out on behalf of: