Palliative Care vs. Hospice 

Both palliative care and hospice care provide comfort. But palliative care can begin at diagnosis, and at the same time as treatment. Hospice care begins after treatment of the disease is stopped when it is clear that the person is not going to survive the illness. Hospice care is most often offered only when the person is expected to live 6 months or less. 

What is Palliative Care?

The goal of  palliative care is to help people with serious illness feel better. This form of medical care works to manage symptoms and side effects of disease and treatment. Palliative care also addresses emotional, social, practical and spiritual problems that may arise when illness is present. When a person’s overall well-being improves, they regain a better outlook which enhances their quality of life.

Palliative care can be given while undergoing treatments meant to cure or treat the disease. Palliative care may be received at any point along the care continuum: when the illness is diagnosed, throughout treatment, during follow-up and at the end of life.

Palliative care may be offered for people with illnesses, such as:

  • Cancer

  • Heart disease

  • Lung disease

  • Kidney Failure

  • Dementia


  • ALS

Who Provides Palliative Care?

Any health care provide can give palliative care, but some providers specialize in it. Palliative care may be given by:

  • A team of doctors

  • Nurses and Nurse Practioners

  • Physician Assistants

  • Registered Dietitians

  • Social Workers

  • Phsycologists

  • Massage Therapists

  • Chaplains

Palliative care may be offered by hospitals, home care agencies, cancer centers, and long-term care facilities. Your provider or hospital can give you the names of palliative care specialists near you.