Palliative care can be defined simply as "comfort" care - the relieving and preventing of suffering. This is what hospice is about. Hospice staff members receive advanced training in identifying, controlling, alleviating and preventing symptoms as much as possible. Not everything can be prevented, but hospice staff members have years of training and experience that helps people become, and stay, comfortable and as active as possible. Registered Nurses and physicians reassess the patients pain on a regular basis - and make adjustments as needed to assure the greatest level of comfort as the disease progresses.
Hospice team members will recommend options for symptom management in consultation with your physician. The individual, family and caregivers are strongly encouraged to be involved in examining options and participating in creating a plan that addresses their needs.