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- Glossary Term -

Palliative Care

Care that focuses on the relief of the pain, symptoms, and stress of serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and families. Palliative care is appropriate at any point in an illness, not just for end-of-life care, and it can include treatments that are intended to cure as well as comfort. It is both a philosophy of care (as is hospice) as well as an approach to caring activities. Palliative care is provided by trained staff in a hospital, home, nursing home, assisted living community or hospice. For more information, visit or the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) (

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