Palliative Care

Any person, any age can be on a serious illness journey.

Palliative Care can help relieve the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness.

Cartoon illustration of all types of people on a healthcare journey road

Palliative Care is specialized medical care for individuals diagnosed with serious illness- at any age, any serious illness, and any stage of health. Palliative Care offers patients and their families an extra layer of support.

Any individual and care provider can start a Palliative Care discussion.

Here are helpful webinars, fact sheets and discussion guides to get you started.

WEBINARS

"Palliative Care: Aligning the Team Around the Patient"

Webinar for Consumers: Patients, families and caregivers can explore palliative care and learn key questions to start a discussion with your care providers. Elizabeth J.Collins, MD, Palliative Care Medical Director, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, provides a framework of the 5 stages of serious illness and how palliative care can be effective at each stage and all through a serious illness.

(Time 30:38)

"Palliative Care: Aligning the Team Around the Patient"

Webinar for Care Providers: Every care provider can be a "first responder" to help patients diagnosed with a serious illness start a palliative care conversation. Learn key questions to open meaningful discussions with patients & clients. Elizabeth J.Collins, MD, Palliative Care Medical Director, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, provides a framework of the 5 stages of serious illness and how palliative care can be effective at each stage and all through a serious illness journey. View individually or with your staff colleagues.

(Time: 30:00 content; followed by Q/A)

TOOLS & DISCUSSION GUIDES

Click image to download.

"What is Palliative Care?" Fact Sheet

For Everyone: Download a free fact sheet of the 6 most commonly asked questions and answers.

Click image to download.

“Palliative Care: 5 Things To Talk About With Your Care Providers”

"Cuidados Paliativos: Cinco Cosas que Hablar con tus Doctors"

Discussion Guide for Consumers: English & Spanish. Here's a handy discussion guide you can bring to your next care provider visit. The guide is based on a person's right to have information about your illness and treatment options to make informed care choices. The guide can help you and your care provider make a care plan to honor your values, priorities and choices. You can ask one question or a few questions. Talk often as your health needs and care choices may change over time.

Click image to download.

“Palliative Care: 5 Things to Talk About With Your Patients & Clients”

"Cuidados Paliativos: Cinco Cosas que Hablar con tus Pacientes y Clientes"

Discussion Guide for Care Providers:  English & Spanish. Here's a handy discussion guide to start a palliative care discussion with your patients, clients and families. The guide is based on a person's right to have information about their illness and  treatment options to make informed care choices. The guide can help you and your patients & clients make a care plan to honor their values, priorities and choices. You can ask one question or a few, and build on your discussions as health need and care choices change.

Special thanks to Nicole A. Martinez AGPCNP, MSN, Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Allcare VNA/ Palliative Care/ Hospice for providing the Spanish translation for the discussion guides.

SPOTLIGHT: How Does Palliaitve Care Help?

"Why wouldn't everyone choose Palliative Care? It's a no brainer."

That's what a patient recently said to Peggye Arcouette, LCSW and Liz Cambo, RN,  Notre Dame Health Care, Worcester. Peggye (on right) and Liz report "our patients really welcome hearing about palliative care as a way to manage their everyday symptoms. It can greatly improve their  quality of life."

"First diagnosis of a serious illness can be a great time to introduce Palliative Care."

"I find patients with complex medical needs welcome information about palliative care when first diagnosed," says Elizabeth J. Collins, MD, Medical Director, Palliative Care, Lahey Hospital & Medical Center. "It helps patients and families feel assured that we will walk with them all through their illness and provide needed care."

 "Talking about care can clear up misconceptions about Church teachings"

"The Archdiocese of Boston helps patients and families by educating them about palliative care,  the importance of advance care planning, and Catholic Church teaching about these topics," says Diane McCarthy, MA, BCC, Parish Education Coordinator. Recently after a presentation, a woman with tears in her eyes said, "Thank you so much for what you said tonight.  It brought me a lot of comfort.  I had been struggling with choices that my brother made over the course of his illness and now I realize that what he did is supported by Church teaching.  That means a lot to me." Read more here

 "Harvard Pilgrim Health Care respects the integrity of each individual member we serve"

"Palliative Care is integral to meet the 'whole person' needs of members with often complex medical needs", says Patricia L. Toro, MD, Associate Medical Director, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.  "The goal of Palliative Care is the support and comfort of our members.  Unfortunately, most members and their families don’t know about Palliative Care and it’s benefits.  We hope that more members take advantage of the benefits offered in the coming months and years. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care is committed to make sure that every member can benefit from Palliative Care."

"At first a bit hesitant ... then very grateful patients."

"Some of my patients are a bit worried and fearful at first when embracing hospice care", says Ana Sonderson, RN, Care Dimensions, Danvers. "After experiencing the relief from stress and emotional and physical suffering that palliative care offers at this phase of life, I have found patients and families very grateful for the support and care."

What is Palliative Care?

Here are commonly asked questions & answers.