Learn about Palliative Care

Information from the Pediatric Palliative Care Network

What is palliative care?

Palliative (pal-lee-uh-tiv) care is comprehensive treatment of the discomfort, symptoms and stress of serious illness. It is a key part of care for children living with a life-limiting illness and an important source of support for their families.

Is palliative care the same as hospice?

No. Hospice gives care and comfort only at the end of life. Palliative care gives care and comfort along the whole course of a child’s disease or illness.

Dealing with the diagnosis of a serious illness in a child may be difficult for the entire family. It is important that your child, your family, and you get the support and care you need.

The goal of the Pediatric Palliative Care Network is to improve quality of life through comfort and care of your entire family through its support and services.

What services are available?

Palliative care services may include:

  • Pain and symptom management
  • Nursing
  • Assessment and case management
  • Spiritual care
  • Social services
  • Sibling support
  • Volunteer support
  • Respite care
  • 24 hour nurse on call
  • Complementary therapies such as music, art, massage, and others
  • Bereavement care if needed

Services are usually provided in the home. Your family may choose which services you believe would be most appropriate to meet your family’s needs.

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