Definition palliative care pronounced pal lee uh tiv is specialized medical care for people with a serious illness this type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. Palliative care is care given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life threatening disease such as cancer palliative care is an approach to care that addresses the person as a whole not just their disease. While palliative care can be administered in the home it is most common to receive palliative care in an institution such as a hospital extended care facility or nursing home that is associated with a palliative care team. Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort but palliative care can begin at diagnosis and at the same time as treatment hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped and when it is clear that the person is not going to survive the illness
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