Why palliative care is important

Palliative care is about living as well as you can with a life limiting condition. It can help to ensure that pain and other symptoms are well controlled, helping you feel more comfortable and improve your quality of life.

A palliative approach to care can enhance quality of life, improve symptoms, decrease stress and provide support for individuals with serious illness – and their families.

A palliative approach to care can also include emotional and spiritual support. Support can also be provided for your family and those you care for – not only during the illness – but also after death.

Early palliative care

Early palliative care can help ensure you receive care in a setting of your choice and can reduce the likelihood of experiencing a crisis that can lead to hospitalization. People who have early access to palliative care are less likely to experience visits to intensive care and emergency departments in their last month of life.

Are palliative care and end-of-life care the same thing?

End-of-life care is a component of palliative care.  End-of-life care occurs in the last weeks, days or hours of life, while palliative care can be provided at any point along the illness journey.

The focus of end-of-life care is dignity and comfort for you and your family while allowing a natural death to occur.

Where can palliative and end-of-life care be provided?

Palliative and end-of-life care can be provided in many settings including at home (including personal care homes), outpatient clinics, hospitals, palliative care units and in long-term care facilities.

More information about palliative and end-of-life care in each of these settings can be found on the Services page.

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Last updated: 2023-03-17