What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is a philosophy of caring focusing on comfort and quality of life throughout a life-limiting illness.
For a dynamic graphic depicting the relationship between aggressive and palliative care, click here.
Palliative care programs are a relatively new concept. They can be based in a hospital, medical center, home health agency or physician clinic. The model of care varies, but the philosophy and concept are similar throughout all programs.
Palliative care means patient and family-centered care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering.
Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs and facilitating patient autonomy, access to information, and choice.
The measure of life is not its length, but its fullness. Palliative care means making every day the best it can be. In Chinese, the symbol for palliative care stands for “nurturing living.” The emphasis is adding life to days rather than days to life.
Dignity in human life includes the balance of the human physical, emotional and spiritual capacities. Palliative care attempts to create a balance in these areas. Palliative care expands traditional disease-model medical treatments to include the goals of enhancing quality of life for a patient and family.