Frequently Asked Questions About Palliative Care

What is palliative care?

Palliative care focuses on the medical, spiritual, and emotional well-being of people who are facing a life-threatening illness. From pharmacological and non-pharmacological pain management to social work and spiritual resources, palliative care addresses the health of the whole person.

Palliative Care

When is the right time for palliative care?

Palliative care helps through all stages of illness, from the time of diagnosis and throughout curative treatments.

What can I expect from palliative care?

Palliative care can help relieve pain and other distressing symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and loss of appetite. It can help you to tolerate treatments and improve your ability to carry on with your life. Palliative care can also help to give you a better understanding of your illness and the choices you have.

How can I get palliative care?

Speak to your attending physician to ask for a referral.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?

Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness. Hospice care is meant especially for patients close to the end of their lives.

What is the difference between palliative care and interventional pain management at RWJUH?

Palliative pain management provides pharmacological and non-pharmacological modalities to improve complex pain related to a patient's serious or life-threatening illness. Interventional pain management provides anesthesia during hospital procedures and medical interventions to manage acute pain resulting from conditions like pinched nerves, bursitis, and osteoarthritis. Though palliative care and interventional pain management may use some of the same tools and pain medication delivery methods, the goals of the programs are different.