For People Living with a Serious Illness, and Those Close to Them

Get more information about palliative care, advance care planning, and community resources

What is Palliative Care?

The term "Palliative Care" (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) comes from the word "palliate" which means to alleviate or reduce suffering.

Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness.

  • The goal is to improve quality of life for both the person living with the illness and those close to them.
  • It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with treatments meant to cure the illness.  
  • This type of care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness.
  • Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists who work together with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra and essential layer of support.  The person living with the illness and their loved ones are central to their health care team.
  • Palliative care is based on the needs of the person and their loved ones.