Palliative care aims to reduce suffering and improve the quality of life for people living with a serious illness and their family and friends. It can be provided along with other treatment plans and can be offered in a range of settings, including at home, or in a care facility, hospital, hospice, or outpatient centre, depending on a person’s needs.
Palliative care focuses on quality of life of the person affected by serious illness and their family, not just the illness itself. The person receiving palliative care, and their family, are put at the centre of decision making, so that their values and wishes are included in decisions.
When a person approaches end of life, palliative care becomes increasingly important to ensure quality, coordinated care and symptom management.
(Serious illnesses can include diseases such as cancer, dementia, motor-neuron disease, end-stage kidney or lung disease, heart disease, and stroke.)