Palliative Care

MaineHealth palliative care programs are committed to helping patients facing serious illnesses live their lives as fully as possible.

What is palliative care?

The goal of palliative care is to help people with a serious illness live fully. It focuses on:

  • Preventing suffering by providing care to keep you comfortable
  • Managing symptoms of serious illness
  • Coordinating communication between many caregivers

Who provides palliative care?

Palliative care is a medical specialty that is most often provided using a team approach. The team works together to make sure that all the patient and family needs are met by providing an extra layer of support. Your palliative care team will work with your doctor and may include:

  • Doctor who specializes in a palliative care
  • Nurse
  • Social worker
  • Therapist
  • Chaplain

When is palliative care given?

Palliative care can be provided at any stage of an illness, from diagnosis through the end of life. You do not have to forego treatment to receive palliative care. Palliative care may be included in the care of:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or other lung diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Neurological diseases like dementia