Palliative Services

Palliative Services

Palliative Services

An approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem   associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psychosocial and spiritual challenges.

Palliative care is aimed at anyone who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The program helps maintain quality of life and reduce illness symptoms. Palliative care teams are made up of doctors, nurses, and other professional medical caregivers. These individuals will administer or oversee most of the ongoing comfort-care patients receive. Additionally, there are no time restrictions on the palliative services and it can be received by patients at any time, at any stage of illness, whether it may be terminal or not.

Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten or postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;
  • offers a support system to help persons live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of persons and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better     understand and manage distressing clinical complications.


  • A person does not need to be actively dying to receive Palliative care services.
  • Palliative care gives focus on comfort and managing symptoms such as pain, and difficulty breathing but is not simply limited to hospice care.
  • The aim of palliative care is to reduce physical, psychological and spiritual suffering.
  • The provisions of palliative care is not restricted to those with incurable or terminal diseases.

Palliative care treats people suffering from serious and chronic illnesses such as cancer, cardiac disease such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, kidney failure, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and many others.  Palliative care focuses on symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and depression. It also helps patients gain their strength and improve ability to tolerate medical treatments.