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Palliative Care

It is hard to live with a serious illness. You may feel that your treatment is doing more harm than good, or you may have pain or other disturbing symptoms. Palliative care can help you and your loved ones cope with all of these things.

The kind of care you get depends on what you need. Your goals guide your care. Palliative care can help reduce pain or treatment side effects. Palliative care may help you and your loved ones better understand your illness, talk more openly about your feelings, or decide what treatment you want or do not want. It can also help with communication among your doctors, nurses, and loved ones.

Saint Mary's Palliative Care
235 West 6th Street
Reno, NV 89503

Why Palliative Care?

Palliative care providers are interested in what is bothering you and what is important to you. They want to know how you and your loved ones are doing day-to-day. They understand that your illness affects not just you, but also those you love.

Your palliative care providers will ask questions about how your illness affects your emotions and spirit. Then they will try to make sure that your medical care meets your goals for your body, mind, and spirit. They will also help you make future plans around your health and medical care.

You might see a palliative care provider just once or maybe more often. He or she will work with your other doctors to give you the best care possible.

What to Expect

Palliative care actively involves you and your loved ones. Together you will work with health care providers in your doctor's office or your home, or in a hospital, nursing home, or hospice. If you are interested in palliative care, talk with your doctor. He or she may be able to manage your palliative care needs or may refer you to someone who is trained in palliative care.

You may talk about anything and everything during a palliative care visit, including:

Hospice vs. Palliative Care

What kinds of care are involved?

Palliative Care: This treatment helps you feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually while doctors also treat your illness. Your care may include pain relief, counseling, or nutrition advice.

Hospice Care: Again, the goal of this type of care is to help you feel better. And it can help you get the most out of the time you have left. But you no longer get treatment to try to cure your illness.

When does care happen?

Palliative Care: This care can happen at any time during a serious illness. You don't have to be near death to get this care.

Hospice Care: In most cases, you can choose hospice care when your doctor believes that you have no more than about 6 months to live.

Where does the care happen?

Palliative Care: This care often happens in hospitals or long-term care facilities like nursing homes. It can take place wherever you are treated, even in your home.

Hospice Care: Most hospice care is done in the place the patient calls "home." This is often the person's home. But it could also be a place like a nursing home or retirement center. Hospice care may also be given in hospice centers, hospitals, and other places.

Who provides the care?

Palliative Care: There are doctors and nurses who specialize in this field. But your own doctor may also give some of this care. And there are many other experts who may help you. These include social workers, counselors, therapists, and nutrition experts.

Hospice Care: In hospitals, hospice centers, and other facilities, care is given by doctors, nurses, and others who are trained in hospice care. In the home, a family member is often the main caregiver. But the family member gets help from care experts. They are on call 24 hours a day.