Palliative care

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is an approach to health care that focuses on improving the quality of life of patients living with an illness and their families. The primary goal in palliative care is to relieve suffering caused by a progressive, life altering illness. The type of support available can vary depending on the patients and family’s wishes and in accordance with your advanced care plan. Palliative care differs from End of Life care because it can be applied to any person living with an illness at any stage of that illness, in addition to other interventions or treatments. If you are living with an illness palliative care can:

  • Improve your quality of life
  • Provide support for loved ones through the process of living with an illness
  • Give you tools to bring your wishes for your care to fruition
  • Relieve or reduce psychological and physical symptoms

Palliative care can involve various types of interventions or treatments including:

  • Pain management
  • Management of other symptoms like : nausea, anxiety, depression, etc.
  • Psychological, Social and Emotional support for you and your loved ones

Who is part of the palliative care team?

Because palliative care addresses so many factors there is a diverse team of social, psychological and healthcare practitioners. Members of your team may include:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Pharmacists
  • Social Workers
  • Home Care workers
  • Bereavement Support Workers (help you and your family cope with loss and grief associated with the death of a loved one)

Where can I receive Palliative care services?

Depending on the type of treatment/intervention that is being provided the location may change. Common areas for palliative care to happen include:

  • Hospitals
  • In your home
  • Long Term care facilities
  • Hospice (ex. Pilgrim’s Hospice), a place for people living with a terminal illness

For caregivers

If you are looking after a loved one as they are nearing the end of their life there are various resources and financial support options depending on your situation.


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