Palliative Service


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Palliative Service

Palliative Care aims to help improve the quality of life and reduce the symptoms of anyone who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Palliative services benefit both patients and their families through prevention and relief of suffering by identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psychological, social and spiritual challenges. Palliative care teams are made up of doctors, nurses, and other professional medical caregivers who administer or oversee most of the ongoing comfort-care patients receive. Additionally, there are no time restrictions on the palliative services and it can be received by patients at any time, at any stage of illness, whether it may be terminal or not.

In addition to treating people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses, palliative services focus on symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and depression. It also helps patients gain their strength and improve ability to tolerate medical treatments.

Facts and Highlights

Palliative Care:

  • is not restricted to those with incurable or terminal diseases or who are actively dying;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten or postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help persons live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of persons and their families, including bereavement counseling, if indicated;
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage complications.

You may want to consider Family Comfort Palliative Care if you or your loved one:

  • Suffers from pain or other symptoms due to ANY serious illness
  • Experiences physical or emotional pain that is not under control
  • Needs help understanding your situation and coordinating your care

Family Comfort Palliative helps manage your care in conjunction with your current treatment plan for serious illness by providing:

  • Physicians
  • Skilled Nursing
  • Medical Social Worker
  • Spiritual Support
  • 24 hour phone support
  • Referrals to other community resources

Family Comfort Palliative Care may be able to assist you with many conditions, including:

  • Cancer
  • Alzheimers
  • Parkinsons
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • CHF (congestive heart failure)
  • ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
  • Kidney failure
  • Chronic Illness
  • Recent discharge from hospital requiring transitional care

Palliative Care VS Hospice Care


Palliative Care

Hospice Care

Who can receive care? Anyone with a serious illness, regardless of life expectancy, can receive palliative care Someone with a life-threatening illness and a life expectancy of six months or less. Talk with your physician.
Can I continue to receive treatments to cure my illness? You may receive palliative care and curative care at the same time Treatments and medicines aimed at relieving symptoms are provided by hospice. The goal is comfort not cure.
Does Medicare pay? Certain treatments and medications may be covered by Medicare and private insurers. Medicare pays all charges related to hospice. Most private insurers also have a hospice benefit.
Does Medicaid pay? Certain treatments and medications may be covered In most states, Medicaid pays all charges related to hospice
Does private insurance pay? Certain treatments and medications may be covered Most private insurers have a hospice benefit
How long can I receive care? This will depend upon your care needs, and the coverage you have through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance As long as you meet the Medicare’s criteria of an illness with a life expectancy of months not years
What organization provides these services?
  • Hospitals
  • Hospices
  • Nursing Facilities
  • Healthcare Clinics
  • Hospice organizations
  • Hospice programs based out of a hospital
  • Other healthcare organizations
Where are services provided?
  • Home
  • Assisted living facility
  • Nursing facility
  • Hospital
  • Usually, wherever the patient resides. In their home, assisted living facility, nursing facility, or hospital.
  • Some hospices have facilities where people can live, like a hospice residence, or receive care for short-term reasons, such as acute pain or symptom management.
Who provides Hospice and Palliative services? Doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists and spiritual counselors. A hospice team that consists of a medical doctor, nurse, social worker, chaplain, volunteer, home health aide and others.


For an infographic of the above, please see The difference between Palliative Care and Hospice Care.

*Adapted from National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization