Palliative care is supportive care for patients with a serious illness. The goal is to relieve pain, symptoms and stress from chronic diseases and to provide the best quality of life for patients and their families.
While often confused with hospice care (which is meant for patients at the end stages of disease), palliative care helps at any age with any serious illness. Palliative care specifically helps with the symptoms of your condition, and it can be given at the same time you're getting care for your primary condition.
Palliative Care at Suburban
At Suburban Hospital, palliative care is provided only for patients while they're in the hospital. It is provided by a multidisciplinary team that works closely with you, your family, and your medical team to address your concerns. The service is led by a board-certified palliative care physician and includes a massage therapist, the hospital’s chaplain, social work support, and on occasion a rotating physician training in palliative medicine. The team works closely, when needed, with a dietician and other support services.
Benefits of Palliative Care
- Relief from distressing symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping
- Improved ability to carry on with your daily life
- Improved ability to tolerate medical treatments
- Complementary and alternative treatment options including massage, music, and aromatherapy
- Better understanding of your condition and your choices for medical care
- Emotional and spiritual support for both patient and family members
- Help navigating the health care system and arranging support after discharge
Talk to your physician or nurse or contact the palliative care team at 301-896-3139.
Palliative Care Resources
- Get Palliative Care
A guide to palliative care for patients and families, with more information on topics covered in this section
- Joint Commission: Speak Up on Serious Illness and Palliative Care
A digital brochure, in English and Spanish, that covers some common questions and issues to think about when considering palliative care.
- National Institute on Aging: Helping with Comfort and Care
A guide for caregivers and families whose loved ones are receiving end-of-life care, provided by the National Institutes of Health
- Hospice information
Information on what hospice is and resources on finding the right care for you or your loved one.