Palliative Care

Palliative care is a kind of medical care for people who have serious and chronic illnesses. Palliative care provides an extra layer of support that can improve quality of life for the person who is sick and for his or her family.

Many people combine palliative care with other types of treatment.

Palliative care can help manage symptoms, pain, or side effects from treatment. It can help people cope with their feelings about living with a serious illness. It can also help with communication, so all the health professionals providing care for a person understand their shared goals. It may even help with planning for future medical care.

Palliative care can help a person of any age, whether or not his or her illness is terminal. More and more health professionals are using palliative care, and many are specially trained to provide it.

Last Revised: December 29, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Shelly R. Garone, MD, FACP - Palliative Medicine

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