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Palliative Care

Palliative care is available to all Temple Health patients, no matter the diagnosis or stage of illness. The goal of palliative care is to help patients and their families preserve mental, social and physical functioning to the fullest extent and according to the patient’s goals.

Palliative care involves high-quality medical care to relieve pain and symptoms, and provide ongoing emotional and spiritual support and honest communication about the patient’s values, beliefs and goals. Using all of these approaches, palliative care can help patients and their families adjust to life with an illness, manage the side effects of curative treatments, and handle day-to-day challenges associated with pain, mobility and function.

Temple Health takes a family-centered approach to palliative care, providing understandable information to patients and families so they can make informed choices about challenging medical situations.

How is palliative care different from hospice?

Palliative care can be provided during any phase of a patient’s illness. Patients may receive palliative care services at the same time as active treatment.

Hospice is for people in the final six months of life who wish to stop curative treatment and focus on comfort.

What is the goal of palliative care?

The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and family, by providing support and relief from symptoms.

  • Managing pain and other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, anxiety, fatigue and nausea
  • Discussing treatment options and patient wishes, and establishing goals of care.
  • Planning for the future course of illness.
  • Discussing health care advocates, advance directives, living wills and end-of-life care.
  • Providing emotional and spiritual support.

How does a patient start the palliative care process?

Palliative care services are available for patients during hospitalization, at the request of the patient, family or attending physician.