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Palliative Care

Care that focuses on managing symptoms, such as pain or shortness of breath, and on improving quality of life is called palliative care.

Any member of your health care team—doctor, nurse or social worker—can provide palliative care. It is most often given along with care that aims to lengthen life. Sometimes, your team may include or recommend a provider who is a specialist in this care.

Palliative care includes:

  • Medications and treatments to relieve symptoms
  • Treatments to help you and your family cope with serious illness
  • Talking with you and your family to understand your priorities, to answer questions and to help make decisions

If you have heart disease, you may wonder what to expect or worry about your health. You could benefit from planning your care, including preparing for a time when you might be unable to speak for yourself (advance care planning).

Use this resource to learn more about palliative care and steps you can take to be ready for the future.

  • Last Edited 03/30/2018