Samaritan is taking steps to protect patients, families, staff, and community from the Coronavirus. Find out more.

(800) 229-8183   available 24/7
team of medical professionals

Palliative Care FAQ

Browse a list of common palliative care frequently asked questions to learn more about this important form of healthcare. Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Call us anytime, 24/7: (800) 229-8183.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a form of medical care specifically for people with serious illness. Any age. Any stage of illness. The goal of this “comfort” care is to improve your quality of life. Palliative care helps with pain. It can relieve pain from the illness itself, the treatment, or the effects from any other medical condition. Treating pain with medication and relieving side effects is an important part of palliative care. Find out more about the services of our South NJ palliative care program.

What are the Benefits of Palliative Medicine?

Palliative care provides expert treatment of symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, and many other symptoms. It devotes time to listening to you, answering any questions about your disease and treatment options, and matching treatments to individual goals. Palliative care also helps to coordinate and share information with all of your other doctors and health providers.

When is Palliative Care Appropriate?

Palliative care is appropriate for anyone at any age and at any stage of serious illness. You can benefit from palliative care as soon as you receive a diagnosis and/or begin treatment. You don’t have to wait until the disease has reached an advanced stage.

Palliative care helps people living with cancer, cardiac disease such as congestive heart failure (CHF), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dementia, kidney failure, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — and any other serious illness. You can continue seeking treatment for any chronic condition while benefiting from the comfort of palliative care.

How Do I Know Palliative Care is Right for Me?

Palliative care is right for you if you have a serious illness, regardless of age or illness level. Serious illnesses include but are not limited to: cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and many more.

Can I Still Receive Curative Treatments While Using Palliative Care?

Yes, definitely. Palliative care helps ease the side effects of curative treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Palliative care also provides relief from the pain and symptoms of serious illness. It does not take the place of treatment from your current doctors, nor does it mean you can no longer seek treatment.

Do I Have to Give Up My Own Doctor?

patient and doctor on couch

No. Our palliative care specialists work with your physician and/or specialists. While this is a very common palliative question, rest assured you won’t be required to give up your regular doctors or treatments, or hope for a cure.

How Does Palliative Care Help Me Choose the Best Treatment Option?

The Samaritan palliative care team will spend time talking and listening to you and your family. They will make sure you completely understand all of your treatment options and choices. By deeply exploring your personal goals, the palliative care team will help you match those goals to the options. They will work with your current physician or specialist. This gives you more control over your care. Contact us now to learn more: (800) 229-8183.

What Does a Palliative Doctor Do That’s Different From What My Other Doctors Do?

Other doctors focus on your general health or treating your disease or condition. Palliative doctors and nurse practitioners focus on alleviating pain and symptoms, improving your quality of life, and helping you and your loved ones cope with the stress and burden of your illness.

Shouldn’t All My Doctors Be Concerned with Alleviating My Suffering and Improving My Quality of Life?

Yes, of course. But palliative care experts have special training and expertise in pain management and symptom control, and specialize in helping patients and their families cope with the many burdens of a serious illness, from the side effects of a medical treatment to caregiver stress to fears about the future.

Palliative care physicians and nurse practitioners can assist you with difficult medical decisions and help you weigh the pros and cons of various treatments.

In other words: your primary doctors should be focused on your illness, while palliative experts focus specifically on your comfort.

Who Pays for Palliative Care?

Palliative Medical Partners visits are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurers with applicable co-payments and deductibles. If you have any questions about coverage and cost, please call us at (800) 229-8183.