Living with a chronic or serious disease can be overwhelming and present many challenges. Palliative care is a resource available to help individuals improve their quality of life by helping manage symptoms and understanding their choices for medical treatment. Palliative care is provided by a team of professionals that seek to provide medical, emotional, social and practical support in order to address the entire person and their needs. Unlike hospice care, palliative care is a resource that can be provided while the patient is still seeking curative treatment. Palliative care is not dependent on a prognosis and can be sought at any time after diagnosis.
Below are resources available to assist individuals and professionals in learning more about and seeking palliative care:
- National Institute on Aging
- Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Association
- Institute of Medicine – Institute for Healthcare Improvement
- Center to Advance Palliative Care
- Supportive Care Coalition
- National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
- American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
While hospice care is part of palliative care, hospice care meets a different end of life care need that usually starts when treatment for a terminal illness ends and death is expected within the next 6 months. The above resources also provide information on the difference between palliative care and hospice care. Hospice providers are certified by the state of Missouri. For a complete list of hospices in the state, click on the “in-state certified hospices list” found on the DHSS webpage here.