About Palliative Care

Hospice palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying. It strives to help individuals and families to:

  • address physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical issues, and their associated expectations, needs, hopes and fears
  • prepare for and manage end-of-life choices and the dying process
  • cope with loss and grief
  • treat all active issues and prevent new issues from occurring
  • promote opportunities for meaningful and valuable experiences, and personal and spiritual growth

The term hospice palliative care is often used interchangeably with palliative care.

Other Key Aspects of Hospice Palliative Care

  • Appropriate for any individual or family living with, or at risk of developing, a life-threatening illness due to any diagnosis, with any prognosis, regardless of age, and at any time they have unmet expectations or needs, and are prepared to accept care
  • May be provided alongside treatments for the disease, or may become the total focus of care
  • Most effectively delivered by an inter-professional team of health care providers skilled in all parts of the caring process related to hospice palliative care that includes the patient, their caregiver(s) and often volunteers
  • Person-centred and family-centred, respecting their social, spiritual and cultural practices
  • Includes end-of-life care but is not limited to the time immediately before death