Palliative care is a special health care for individuals who are living with a life-limiting illness that is usually at an advanced stage. The goal of palliative care is to provide comfort and dignity for the person living with the illness as well as the best quality of life for both this person and her family and friends.
An important objective of palliative care is relief of pain and other symptoms. Palliative care meets not only physical needs, but also psychological, social, cultural, emotional and spiritual needs of each person and family. It may be combined with other treatments aimed at reducing or curing the illness, such as chemotherapy.
Palliative care services are helpful throughout the journey with cancer, from earlier stages to later, when cure for the illness is no longer possible. This care helps people in later life who are ill, to live out their remaining time in comfort and dignity.
Families also benefit from support when their loved one is dying and after his or her death.
Palliative care provides:
help with managing pain and other distressing symptoms
social, psychological, emotional, and spiritual support
support for the caregiver
help developing a plan for the kind of care you want
Palliative care can be offered at home, in hospitals, in long-term care facilities, and in hospices.
Hospice Palliative Care
Hospice palliative care is care that is aimed at relieving suffering and improving the quality of life for persons who are living with or dying from advanced illness or are bereaved.
In Canada, the terms palliative care and hospice palliative care are often used to refer to the same thing which is a specific approach to care. However, some people use hospice care to describe care that is offered in the community rather than in hospitals.
Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada
All Canadians have the right to quality end-of-life care that allows them to die with dignity, free of pain, surrounded by their loved ones, in the setting of their choice. Ovarian Cancer Canada is a member of Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada, a network of 33 national organizations.
Find out more about QELCCC
The mandate of the QELCCC is to act as an advocate for quality end-of-life care for all Canadians.