Palliative Care offers comfort measures that focus on relief of suffering and control of symptoms so that you can carry out day-to-day activities, and do what is most important to you – like visiting your grandchildren in another state.
Palliative Care focuses on improving your quality of life – in your body, mind and spirit.
It can be combined with your treatment. And, Palliative Care can be started at any time, and may be provided throughout the course of the illness.
Video about Palliative Care
Palliative Care helps Veterans and their families manage illness with plans of care. Watch this video to listen to Veterans and doctors talk about how VA Palliative Care helps patients live their lives.
Since Palliative Care is part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, all enrolled Veterans are eligible IF they meet the clinical need for the service.
Copays may be charged for Palliative Care.
Find out more about Paying for Long Term Care.
Palliative Care provides services that relieve suffering and help control symptoms in a way that respects your personal, cultural, and religious beliefs and practices.
While receiving Palliative Care you can also receive treatment to cure or control your illness.
Services often include:
- Consults about comfort care
- Follow-up visits by a health care team
- Support with decision-making and defining goals of care
- Promoting the care that supports your goals
- Consults with your primary care providers and/or specialists
- Telephone “check-in” calls, when appropriate
- Referrals and care coordination to access resources in your community
You can use a Shared Decision Making Worksheet to help you figure out what long term care services or supports may best meet your needs now or in the future. Find out about how you can use the Shared Decision Making approach.
There's also a Caregiver Self-Assessment . It can help your caregiver identify their own needs and decide what type and how much support they can offer to you. Having this feedback from your caregiver, along with the involvement of your care team and social worker, will help you reach the best decisions.
Your physician or other primary care provider can answer questions about your medical needs.
Some important things to discuss with your social worker and family include:
- How much do I want services that are focused on comfort care?
- What are my family’s/caregiver's needs?
- How much independence and privacy do I want?
- What sort of social interactions are important to me?
- How much can I afford to pay for care each month?
If Palliative Care seems right for you, talk with your primary care provider or Palliative Care Consult Team member. You can also talk with your VA social worker about Palliative Care.
You can also use the Locate Services and Resources page, found on the left navigation menu, to help find Palliative Care services.
The Palliative Care I get helps me have the quality of life I want. They know how to give me what I need and they don’t stop until I’m in my comfort zone.
Dad has always lived life to the fullest. He taught us to enjoy life and each other. So much can be accomplished just by sitting around the table and talking about what matters to him now.
Peggy, Veteran’s daughter and part-time caregiver