Q & A · NJ Hospice Directory · NJ Palliative Directory
Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
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 layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Palliative care is a team approach to care. The core team includes doctor, nurse and social work palliative care specialists. Massage therapists, pharmacists, nutritionists, chaplains and others may also be part of the team.
The team spends as much time as necessary with you and your family. They become a partner with you, your family and your other doctors. They support you and your family every step of the way, not only by controlling your symptoms, but also by helping you to understand your treatment options and goals. More (PDF)
Hospice care is a set of services that help the patient and family cope with the effects of terminal illness. The goal of hospice care is to enhance the quality of life for patient and family and allow patients to spend their remaining time in their home. Hospice provides comfort when cure is no longer possible or curative treatment is no longer desired.
Services are provided through a hospice agency by a team of hospice professionals and volunteers. These professionals provide direct care during their visits and also teach the family how to care for the patient in-between visits. With simple training, almost every family can care for a hospice patient.
The unit of care in hospice is the patient and family. A customized plan of care is developed to meet their needs. The plan of care includes basic services that every hospice must offer patients and families — these are called “core services”:
Hospice will neither hasten nor delay death. Hospice seeks to improve the patient’s quality of life and allow dying to take place naturally. It will not extend life through artificial or mechanical means, nor will it shorten life through assisted suicide. More