Palliative Care FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

We know patients and families new to palliative care have many questions. To help you understand palliative care and how it can benefit your loved one and family, the FAQ's below offer answers to common questions we receive about our services.

How is palliative care different from hospice care?

Unlike hospice, palliative care can be provided in conjunction with active treatment to cure or reverse the effects of a serious illness.

Hospice care is generally offered to patients who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and are likely experiencing the final six months of their lives. Hospice patients elect to forego or stop curative treatments to focus on the treatment of symptoms or "comfort care" in the last days, weeks, or months of life.

Patients often transition from palliative care to hospice care if their doctor determines that hospice care is more appropriate. Hospice and palliative care services are not offered concurrently. Please click here to learn more.

What kinds of illnesses are considered to be serious?

Cardiac disease, respiratory diseases such as COPD, kidney failure, Alzheimer's or other dementias, cancer, ALS and Parkinson's are examples of serious illness, but palliative care can help patients with many other illnesses as well. Ask your doctor if palliative care is right for you.

Can I return to the hospital?

Yes, you may return to the hospital or seek any treatment at any time while receiving palliative care.

How is palliative care different from my current care?

The needs of palliative care patients are complex. Palliative care focuses on physical, emotional, spiritual and practical needs that may not be addressed by a primary care team and other specialists.

What types of services can I expect from palliative care?

The goal of palliative care is to find ways for you to be as comfortable and independent as you would like to be. A nurse practitioner leads the care in consultation with your primary care physician, while other team members-chaplains, social workers, volunteers and providers of other support services like massage therapy-may also visit as needed. Our team offers support that focuses on your unique needs.

Where do patients receive palliative care?

If you have difficulty leaving your home due to illness, we will visit in whatever place you call home, whether that's a private residence, a senior or assisted living community or a long-term care facility. Regardless of the setting, we coordinate care with you, your family/loved ones and all healthcare providers involved in your care.

What's the next step?

Talk with your physician who can make the referral, or call us and ask to speak to our referral coordinator who can obtain an order from your physician.

If you have additional palliative care questions, please call us at 636-733-7399 or contact us here.