What is Palliative Care

What You Should Know about Palliative Care

By Robert Bruce Dalglish of Philadelphia

Palliative Care is a type of care focused on providing comfort and promoting quality of life. It is aimed to alleviate symptoms as well as providing the support needed to meet spiritual and emotional needs. All Hospice is considered Palliative Care. There are some programs where Palliative Care can be authorized before a patient meets Hospice Service criteria.

Contrary to what many people believe, palliative care can be administered at any stage of a serious illness, and patients do not have to be terminally ill to receive palliative care. Unlike hospice care patients, palliative care patients can still receive treatment for their diseases. Rather, palliative care works in synergy with hospital-based care and focuses on helping patients manage their symptoms and provides support to their families.

Goals of Palliative Care Include:

  • Manage symptoms and enhance quality of life
  • Provide spiritual and emotional support
  • Alleviate suffering and treat ongoing pain
  • Provide options in advance for care planning

Palliative care can be especially beneficial for patients suffering from severe symptoms associated with their condition. In addition to pain, many palliative care patients suffer from nausea, fatigue, delirium, dyspnea and other chronic symptoms. That’s why palliative care clinicians exercise a comprehensive approach to pain management, taking into account various aspects, including patients’ emotional, psychological and spiritual suffering.

Its comprehensive approach and attention to both psychological distress and physical symptoms make palliative care an important tool for improving the quality of life for patients and their families during the treatment period.

About the Author 

A resident of Philadelphia, Robert Bruce Dalglish has served as the Chairman and CEO of Alliance Hospice and All Caring Hospice since 2005. In this role, Bruce Dalglish oversees the development and strategic direction of both companies. From 2008 – 2013, Bruce Dalglish served on the Public Policy Committee of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).

 Disclaimer:  Robert Bruce Dalglish blogs provide education information, not medical advice. Please consult with your medical providers when making end-of-life care decisions.