Palliative Care

Palliative Care addresses the physical, emotional & spiritual needs of cancer patients and their families.

We offer compassion and comfort to people with cancer. Palliative care emphasizes relief of suffering, improved quality of life, and enhanced communications for patients and families dealing with cancer.

Palliative medicine is compassionate care of the whole person and those who love and care for the person. This means that you and your family’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs are considered, with an emphasis on preserving your dignity and improving your quality of life. Palliative medicine can be provided along with aggressive, curative medical care. It offers the possibility of healing when cure may not be possible.

Palliative medicine can be helpful to anyone living with a serious illness. We accept and support the choices you and your family make about your medical care. We're here to assist you in communicating these choices to your medical team.


A Team-Based Approach to Your Care

Palliative Care teams include specially trained physicians, advanced practice clinicians, social workers and chaplains. They work together to support people with cancer and their families. Our expert team works to improve physical as well as psychosocial concerns, and advocates for the choices patients and their family make during inpatient hospital stays.

Keeping the Team Abreast of your Needs and Wishes in the Hospital

The Palliative Care team communicates regularly with your primary physician and other members of your medical team. We make sure everyone understands your goals and wishes, and any concerns or worries. Experts in managing pain and supporting patients and families through serious illnesses, our palliative care specialists follow you through your hospital stay. If you are admitted to the hospital again in the future, the team can continue to follow you to provide ongoing support.

What Palliative Care Offers You & Your Family

Patients and families dealing with cancer are faced with a number of challenges. You may experience pain or other physical or emotional symptoms that require specialized treatment and attention. You may need help making tough decisions about your medical care as you prepare for the future. You and your family might want some extra support coping with cancer and the changes it creates in your lives. Maybe you are facing difficult decisions about high-risk medical or surgical interventions, and you want help understanding the risks and benefits more fully. These are just a few of the areas where our Palliative Care team can provide the comfort and support you need.

Palliative care experts can offer you:

  • Expert management of pain and other physical and emotional symptoms.
  • Emotional and spiritual support for you and your family.
  • Education about your illness and treatment options.
  • Help in clarifying your care goals and options throughout your illness.
  • Advocacy and communication of your needs to the rest of your medical team.
  • Assistance with advance care planning including discussions about creating an advance directive (Living Wills and Health Care Representative).

Our palliative care team is here to support you and your family while you are in the hospital. They're there for you whether you're only hospitalized once or your cancer treatment requires multiple hospitalizations. They are also available to you and your oncologist to ensure your plan of care is supported after your discharge from the hospital.

Who Pays for Palliative Care?

Most insurance plans cover palliative care services. For services that are not reimbursed by insurance, philanthropic support may be available to help cover the cost.

How to Request Palliative Care

Your attending physician or primary oncologist must write an order for a palliative care consultation while you are hospitalized. All you or your family need to do is ask your doctor to request a palliative care consult.


Our Palliative Care Locations:

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute