Skip to content

Palliative Care Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Topic Overview

Who is involved in palliative care?

Palliative care actively involves you and your loved ones. Together you will work with health care providers in your doctor's office or your home, or in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice. If you are interested in palliative care, talk with your doctor. He or she may be able to manage your palliative care needs or may refer you to someone who is trained in palliative care.

Many hospitals now have palliative care teams. These teams often include palliative care doctors, nurses, and social workers. The teams may also include spiritual advisors, dietitians, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, and volunteers.

How can I work with a palliative care team?

Good communication is a large part of palliative care. Your palliative care providers will encourage you to listen to your feelings and to talk about what is most important to you. They will also try to explain things to you and your loved ones in ways you can understand. Then they will work with your primary care doctor to make sure that your care is meeting your goals, such as managing disturbing symptoms or making future plans.

You may talk about anything and everything during a palliative care visit, including:

  • Treatment.
  • Pain and medicine side effects.
  • Emotional and social challenges, such as helping your family get along better.
  • Spiritual concerns.
  • Goals and dreams.
  • Hospice care.
  • Advance directives. Advance directives are instructions to your doctor and loved ones about what kind of care you want if you become unable to speak for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about palliative care:

Receiving palliative care:

1 | 2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Today on WebMD

Nurse with patient
Article
Grieving father and daughter
Article
 
Computer search
Article
Nurse with patient
Article
 
Nurse with patient
Article
Doctor with patient
Article
 
Nurse talking to older man
Article
A caring hand
Article
 
In hospital with child
Article
Child with grandmother
Article
 
Man comfortable in nursing home
Article
Concerned doctor
Article
 

WebMD Special Sections