What is Palliative Care

Palliative Care specializes in the relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness. The goal is to prevent and ease suffering and to offer patients and their families the best possible quality of life. It is useful at any stage of an illness. And, it can be provided at the same time as treatment that is meant to cure you.

Palliative Medicine helps you carry on with your daily life. It improves your ability to go through medical treatments. It may help you better understand your condition and your choices for medical care. In short, you can expect the best possible quality of life through a process specializing in the relief of pain, symptoms and the stress related to serious illness.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

Palliative Care is not the same as hospice care. Hospice care also provides palliative care; however, it is focused on terminally ill patients who are no longer seeking treatments to cure.

Conditions and Treatment

Palliative Care may be right for you if you suffer from pain or other symptoms due to a serious illness.

Serious illnesses may include:

  • AIDS
  • Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Respiratory disease

Or if you have experienced:

  • Frequent emergency room visits
  • Multiple admissions to the hospital (3 or more within 12 months) with the same symptoms
  • Turning point in the illness where treatment is no longer working
  • Rating problems associated with an advanced illness

What can I expect?

Palliative Care can be provided at any stage of illness and along with treatment meant to cure you.

  • Expert treatment of pain and other symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath and other distressing symptoms
  • Open discussion about treatment choices, including treatment for your disease and management of your symptoms
  • Coordination of your care with all of your health care providers
  • Emotional, spiritual and psycho social support for you and your family

Experts in Care

Meet our doctors, view their profiles and select the one that’s right for you.

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Palliative Care Expertise

The mission of Palliative Care is to prevent and relieve troublesome symptoms while supporting the best possible quality of life for our patients and their families, regardless of the nature or extent of their disease or the need for other therapies.

Our teams collaborate with professional and informal caregivers in various settings to ensure coordination, communication, and continuity of care across institutional and home care settings.

We integrate the emotional and spiritual well being of the patient and family into the management of pain and other physical symptoms of illness.

We are here to guide our patients and their families with health care decisions while working toward their goals throughout their course of illness.

Contact us

Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

500 University Drive
Hershey, PA  17033

Call: 717-531-6263

St. Joseph Medical Center

2500 Bernville Road
Reading, PA 19605

Call: 610-378-2001

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other parents and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about support groups offered

Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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