• Gary Hepworth

What is Palliative Care?

Updated: Apr 19

Palliative care refers to care for patients and their families who are facing a serious, life-limiting illness. Palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for patients and their families at all stages of the illness. Palliative care focuses on treating the impact that an illness has on patients, and is often provided in addition to other care that focuses on treating the illness itself.


What types of services are provided?


The types of palliative care services that may be provided include:

  1. Physician and nursing services to assess and manage the progression of the illness. This includes providing pain and symptom management to improve comfort and quality of life

  2. Personal support services

  3. Psychological, spiritual and bereavement support

  4. Other services, such as physiotherapy, caregiver support, pharmacy, social work.

How can I access palliative care?


Palliative care can be provided or accessed through the following channels:

  1. Your primary health care provider (e.g. family doctor). Many types of palliative care are provided directly by primary health care providers who are already treating individuals for disease. For individuals requiring more specialized services, primary health care providers can provide appropriate referrals.

  2. Your local LHIN can refer you to hospice or other support services

  3. A qualified home care provider

  4. Your local hospital

  5. Your long-term care home

Where is palliative care provided?


Palliative care is delivered in all care settings, including the following:

  1. Individual homes

  2. Hospices

  3. Long-Term Care Homes

  4. Hospitals

What does it cost to receive palliative care?


There is no cost to patients for medically necessary palliative care services in their homes, hospices, or hospitals. For example, this includes any treatments that a physician may provide. Patients and their families may choose to add supplemental private care through a company like Green Lafleur Home Care.

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