Palliative care is a medical specialty, similar to cardiology or urology. This type of specialized medical care is for people living with a serious illness. Palliative care may be utilized to support symptom management and coincide with curative treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, therapy, and/or medications. Palliative care is meant to enhance a person’s current care by focusing on quality of life for them and their family.
Palliative services are supportive for many chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, pulmonary diseases (e.g., COPD), cancer, dementia, and neurological diseases (e.g., Parkinson’s). The goal of palliative care is to reduce discomfort and the limitations associated with disability. Palliative also supports through medical, social and emotional supports. It is a team approach and aids patients in preparing for invasive treatments, understanding their disease processes, and supporting recovery and return to everyday life.