What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is expert medical care for the purpose of relieving the symptoms and stress of illness. Palliative care can include physical, emotional, or spiritual care, and it may be appropriate at any point in an illness, from diagnosis on. Some palliative care can happen simultaneous to curative treatments, for instance pain relief and counseling for someone undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Hospicare & Palliative Care Services provides services primarily to people with a terminal diagnosis—people eligible for hospice services, a Medicare benefit. 

Hospice care is palliative care. Hospice is the subset of palliative care that is especially for people facing life-limiting illness for which no further curative treatments are being pursued. Like all palliative care, hospice centers the patient’s wishes and their control over their own experience. 

Between 2017 and 2022, Hospciare & Palliative Care Services ran a PATH program. PATH stands for a Palliative Approach to Health, which provided nurse and physician palliative care consultation to help set and manage the care goals for any palliative-appropriate patient in Tompkins and Cortland counties, free of charge. As we redesign the palliative program and seek funding for its operation, we are pausing PATH until further notice.  

We remain a 5-star-rated hospice, the first in New York State, offering robust wrap-around services for our hundreds of palliative care (hospice eligible) patients annually. Hospicare & Palliative Care Services is also proud to continue to provide free palliative consultation phone calls with patients and their physicians and to help families and caregivers determine what services might be best.  

We are the region’s palliative care hub, for both hospice-appropriate patients and patients who may become hospice eligible soon.

Palliative Care Definition and Testimonial Video