Palliative care FAQs

October 2, 2023 Palliative care

Palliative care FAQs

Palliative care is an approach to improve the quality of life of patients, who are facing a life-limiting and usually progressive illness. Palliative care works to incorporating personalised physical, psychosocial, and spiritual care. The below are some palliative care FAQs asked when patients or their families are looking into palliative care.

What is palliative care?

It is specialised care for people living with serious illnesses and focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness. It works to improving quality of life for both the patient and their family as well as help make difficult decisions. Our guide “What is palliative care?” might answer some questions.

When should palliative care begin?

Palliative care can start at any point during an illness, from the time of diagnosis onwards. Early integration often leads to better outcomes and can run concurrently with curative treatments of different conditions.

What conditions can palliative care help with?

Palliative care isn’t restricted to end-of-life scenarios; it can be utilized at any illness stage to improve the quality of life for cancer patients, addressing symptoms, pain, emotional distress, and spiritual needs. Some of these conditions are:

  • Palliative care for cancer: In cases of advanced cancer, palliative interventions can enhance both the quality of life for someone, enabling them to live more comfortably, even if they cannot be cured.
  • Palliative care for dementia: For those living with dementia, palliative care is an approach that focuses on enhancing their overall quality of life, relieving symptoms, and providing emotional support.
  • Palliative care for heart failure: This is a specialized approach to care that focuses on improving the quality of life for individuals with advanced heart failure, as well as providing support to their families.
  • Palliative care for COPD: This complements curative treatments and ensures that COPD patients receive comprehensive care tailored to their unique needs.

How does a patient get palliative care?

Patients usually access palliative care through referrals from their GP or hospital specialists, and through community palliative care teams, outpatient clinics, and hospices. Nursing homes and residential care facilities also provide palliative care in collaboration with the different providers. Patients and families can request palliative care through their GP. The process may vary based on location and individual needs but commonly starts with a an assessment.

Who provides palliative care and what support is given?

The professionals involved in the care will depend on the sort of care and support needed. The palliative care team typically includes doctors, nurses, social workers, and therapists. They work collaboratively to provide comprehensive care tailored to the patient’s needs, addressing physical, emotional, and spiritual concerns.

A team can support with:

  • Managing symptoms
  • Planning care and treatment in advance such as getting the correct equipment
  • Supporting the patient and the patient’s family members or those close to them
  • Emotional, psychological, and spiritual support
  • Providing a good quality of life

Where can a patient receive palliative care?

When arranging or receiving palliative care, it is crucial to ensure that it aligns with one’s preferences. This is crucial because it respects any choices and improves quality of life. It also fosters better communication, and boosts patient and family satisfaction. Additionally, it respects cultural and spiritual beliefs, avoids unwanted interventions, and supports a dignified end-of-life process. Ultimately, it builds trust between the patient and carers or nurses while upholding the patient’s autonomy and values.

The different palliative care settings are:

  • In their homes
  • A hospital
  • A hospice
  • A care or nursing home

When making this decision, is is important to understand the differences between hospice and palliative care or the differences between hospital and homecare to make the best one.

What are the benefits of receiving palliative care early?

Early integration of palliative care can lead to better symptom control, improved quality of life, and enhanced emotional support. It also helps patients and families navigate complex medical decisions.

How can Cavendish Homecare help?

At Cavendish Homecare we are experts in providing private Palliative Homecare for individuals with terminal illnesses who want to return or remain in their own homes. We understand that at such a stressful and sensitive time, specialist private nursing care and trustworthy support can make a huge difference. We work to support the patients, their families, friends, district nurses, palliative teams, and any spiritual needs to support your Palliative care.

If you would like to enquire about our Palliative Care services in London and the Home Counties, contact us on, 02030085210 or email us at