Palliative Care

Palliative Care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stresses of a serious illness — whatever the diagnosis. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.

Our physicians and nurse practitioners will work with a patient's other doctors to provide extra care and support. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Patients who benefit from palliative care are likely to be coping with illnesses such as:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Kidney failure
  • Cancer

Based on the patient’s particular goals and the overall objective of improving his or her quality of life, a palliative care plan is designed to:

  • Provide relief from pain and other symptoms to reduce suffering
  • Integrate emotional, social and spiritual needs
  • Explain potential treatment options to ensure that the patient, family and loved ones have the information needed to determine goals
  • Support the patient and his or her family and loved ones in making the most appropriate decisions
  • Help the patient live as actively as possible
  • Prepare for the long term care needs of the patient and family
  • Assist with a smooth transition from the hospital to home, to another facility or to hospice care, depending on the patient’s care needs
  • Assure clear communication with other care providers
  • Assist the patient’s health care providers, if desired, with complicated decision-making regarding therapies and treatments
  • Develop patient/family support

University of Maryland Community Medical Group – Palliative Care Practices