Palliative care

Palliative care is the medical specialty focused on relief of pain, stress and other debilitating symptoms of serious illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for you and your family.

See also information about Advance directives and Grief and bereavement support groups.

UCHealth palliative care services help you by:

  • Identifying the full spectrum of physical, spiritual and psychological care options available to you.
  • Matching your goals and values to a customized care plan.
  • Enhancing curative care with improved symptom control and relief.
  • Empowering you and your family to make fully informed choices.
  • Supporting all those involved in the process, from diagnosis through grief.

We also provide fellowship training for physicians to increase access to this specialty and service.

Available palliative care services

The specific combination of services provided depends on your needs. These include:

  • Expert treatment of pain and other symptoms.
  • Exploring the strength to carry on with daily life.
  • Maintaining hope.
  • Emotional and spiritual support.
  • Better understanding of your condition and choices for medical care.
  • Enriching communication between you, your family and health care providers.
  • Guidance with difficult treatment choices.
  • Knowing what care services are available after leaving the hospital.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about palliative care

How can patients receive services?

Getting palliative care is easy: Request a referral by talking with your primary doctor. Our palliative care team works with your primary doctor, who continues to direct your overall care.

When is the right time for palliative care?

It’s never too early to receive palliative care. It helps at any stage of an illness and can be delivered at the same time as curative therapies.

Is palliative care the same as hospice care?

No. Hospice care is meant specifically for those approaching the final months of life, while palliative care is appropriate for any stage of a serious illness. Hospice care may take place in your home or another setting. If or when hospice care is desired, the palliative care team can assist with this transition.

Where can I find hospice care resources?

This national hospice locator is a good place to start.