No, palliative care is not just for the end of life. Palliative care is a specialized type of medical care that focuses on relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life for individuals with serious illnesses, regardless of their age or stage of the disease.
While palliative care is often associated with end-of-life care, it can be provided at any stage of a severe illness. It may be integrated into the patient’s overall care plan alongside curative treatments. Palliative care may also be provided alongside hospice care, specialized end-of-life care for individuals with a life expectancy of six months or less.
Palliative care aims to help individuals with serious illnesses manage their symptoms, maintain their independence and quality of life, and make informed decisions about their medical care. Palliative care providers work closely with the patient, their family, and other healthcare providers to develop a care plan tailored to the individual’s needs and goals.
In addition to managing symptoms such as pain, nausea, and fatigue, palliative care may address emotional and spiritual concerns, assist with personal care needs, and help with advanced care planning. The palliative care team may include physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and other healthcare professionals trained to provide sensitive care to patients and their families.