Frequently asked questions about Hospice Palliative Care

What is hospice palliative care?
Hospice palliative care is for anyone facing life-threatening illness. It provides physical, emotional and spiritual care and support for individuals and their loved ones. Through a caregiving team of family, friends, interdisciplinary healthcare professionals and trained volunteers, needs and choices are sensitively met. Hospice palliative care is about living fully to the very end with dignity and respect.
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What services are available from hospice palliative care?
The number and variety of hospice palliative care services will vary from place to place but here are some examples:

  • Expert medical care to help with pain and other symptoms
  • Emotional support for family members and friends
  • Spiritual support, covering all faiths and beliefs
  • Trained volunteers to visit and give emotional support
  • Arranging for home care services

  • Arranging respite care for at-home care-givers
  • Telephone counselling in crisis situations
  • Help in adjusting to change
  • Ongoing bereavement support after the death of a loved one

Where can hospice palliative care be provided?
Hospice palliative care can be provided in any setting – at home, in hospitals, in nursing homes or in special hospice facilities.

How do I access the services?
To ensure an individual/family centered approach, increased access, and a timely response to services, each district has it’s own referral process. There are palliative care services available in all health districts in Nova Scotia. A Provincial Directory of Palliative Care Programs listing local contacts throughout Nova Scotia is available.

Download the Provincial Directory

Information taken from Cancer Answers – May 2005, Cancer Answers is a monthly column dedicated to answering commonly asked questions about cancer prevention and treatment. Cancer Care Nova Scotia.