Palliative care is appropriate for patients whose goals include maximizing comfort. While palliative care is often a part of a hospice care plan, it can also be helpful for patients who are undergoing treatment. For example, patients who are receiving treatment for cancer often find palliative care helpful to improve quality of life. Palliative care can ensure that a person’s activity level and sense of well-being are less affected by issues such as pain, nausea, fatigue, stress, depression and anxiety.
Palliative care addresses many aspects of a person’s health and wellbeing. For that reason, an interdisciplinary team, led by a physician specializing in palliative care, will make sure that you or your loved one is as comfortable as possible. Your care team may consist of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, therapists (physical, occupational), and home health aides. Palliative care also includes family and friends so that patients can receive care from those closest to them.