Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is palliative care?
  • Palliative care is a specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It involves using health care teams to provide patients with relief from symptoms, pain, and the emotional stress of serious illness at any stage.
  • What are some examples of serious illness?
  • Cancer, congestive heart failure, emphysema, kidney failure, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis are all examples of serious illnesses.
  • What professionals make up the palliative care team?
  • This can vary among providers, but usually the team is made up of a physician and/or mid-level provider, nurse, social worker and a chaplain.
  • What role does the patient's family or primary doctor play in palliative care?
  • The palliative care team works in partnership with the primary doctor in the treatment of the patient.
  • Is palliative care the same as hospice care?
  • No. Hospice Care is meant to serve the patient during the last six months of their life when the burdens of aggressive treatment outweigh the benefits. In contrast, Palliative care serves the patient regardless of their prognosis or the treatment they are receiving.
  • How do palliative care and hospice care work together?
  • Patients receiving palliative care may naturally transition into Hospice Care toward the end of their serious illness.
  • Where can I receive palliative care services?
  • Palliative care is offered in all OSF hospitals and in some places outpatient or in the home.
  • Does OSF HealthCare offer hospice care?
  • Yes we do. Please visit OSF Hospice for more information.