Palliative Care: Here's Why You or Your Loved One Doesn’t Have to Suffer by Kathy Ast

Palliative Care: Here's Why You or Your Loved One Doesn’t Have to Suffer

Like comfort? I do! Palliative literally means “relieving pain." Who doesn’t want that? Most often you hear, “I don’t need palliative care ... I’m not dying!” However, palliative care is for ANYONE experiencing serious illness and who needs pain and symptom relief.

What, you say?! Can this be true? Why hasn’t anyone told me before?! Because some say palliative care has a public relations problem. There’s a lot of misconceptions, such as you have to give up curative treatment to receive palliative care (or comfort care). Not true. That is the case for hospice (but even that may change). Palliative care is more than just hospice. Palliative care emphasizes what every patient wants from the healthcare system:

  • The patient is at the center of care – what’s good for you is what matters, not what’s good for providers.
  • Pain and symptom relief.
  • Good communication – compassionate listening, for example.
  • Shared decision making.
  • Smart care coordination (aka “Don’t make me repeat everything I just said!”).
  • Care aligned with patient wishes.
  • Caregiver support (the next generation of seriously ill patients).
  • Good quality of life.

Get more information at

“Palliative care is for people of any age, and at any stage in illness, whether that illness is curable, chronic or life threatening.” – website 

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Julie Rose
I didn’t know this
Kathy Ast
I didn't either before I went to work for American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. Thank you for your comment! Keep spreading the word! ❤️
Elisa Schmitz
This is really great, Kathy Ast-Kutzbach ! I really didn't know about palliative care, and I'm grateful that you shared this. Patient-focused care and ease of suffering sounds like something everyone should have. So glad you enlightened us and I hope you will share more about this so we can continue to help clear up misconceptions about this type of care! xoxo
Debbie Howard
Great and important info - thanks for sharing!

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