Palliative Care

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness - whatever the diagnosis.

The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative care.

Note that palliative care is not the same as hospice care. Palliative care can be given together with aggressive/curative care (such as chemotherapy, radiation treatments, dialysis, surgery) and may be given to any patient with serious illness, not only those patients with terminal illness.

Common questions about palliative care

Who is appropriate for palliative care?

Any patient with a serious or life-threatening illness. Serious Illnesses may include cancer, dementia, stroke, lung diseases such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis, kidney disease (especially those requiring dialysis), heart disease such as heart attack or CHF, liver disease such as cirrhosis or jaundice.

Where can I get palliative care?

Palliative care can be delivered in any setting (hospital, home, nursing home/rehab, and others). The palliative care team at Beaumont serves patients In the hospital and at Royal Oak, through the Palliative Care Clinic in the lower level of the Medical Office Building.

How will palliative care help me/my family/my loved one?

female patient caregiver The palliative care team will work together with your regular doctors to:

  • improve comfort and quality of life for you and your family as you deal with any serious illness 
  • develop an individualized plan to manage any distressing symptoms ( such as pain, shortness of breath and anxiety)
  • help you and your family or designated decision-makers to understand your particular medical situation in order to make decisions about the type of care you want to receive
  • provide additional support for you/your family

How do I get palliative care?

 If you are in the hospital, tell your doctor or nurse that you want to meet with the Palliative Care Team. If you are outside the hospital, call 248-898-6004 for more information.

For additional information and resources, visit:

The Center to Advance Palliative Care

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization