Palliative Care

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is a medical specialty that focuses on the many ways serious illness affects patients and their families. The goal is to help the whole person by relieving the physical and non-physical suffering disease may bring.

Physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and pharmacists are a team who helps you and your family cope with the illness. Emory's Palliative Care team physicians are certified by the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine.

How will my family and I benefit from Palliative Care?

By working closely with your physician, the palliative care team will help:

  • Control pain
  • Relieve symptoms such as nausea, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, fatigue, and depression.
  • Provide counseling in making difficult medical decisions.
  • Provide emotional and spiritual support.
  • Coordinate home care referrals.
  • Help navigate the complex healthcare system.
  • Assist with advanced care planning regarding future care and treatment.

When is the right time for Palliative Care?

Palliative Care helps through all stages of many illnesses including stroke, heart disease, chronic lung disease, dementia, kidney failure, HIV, liver disease, and cancer. Palliative Care is most beneficial early in your care and is provided at the same time as treatments aimed at curing your illness.

Is Palliative Care the same as Hospice Care?

No. Hospice Care is meant specifically for those approaching the last stages of life, whereas Palliative Care is appropriate for any stage of a serious illness.

Where can I get more information about Palliative Care at Emory Healthcare?

Your nurse or doctor can help you. Please ask them for a referral or call Emory HealthConnectionSM at 404-778-7777. You and your family may have many questions and concerns regarding treatment choices, side effects, emotional issues, and more. Do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you through the entire process.