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      What do the words “palliative care” mean to you? This specialty is highly stigmatized and underutilized because of its connotation with death. Did you know that there’s a difference between palliative care and hospice care? Palliative care is not synonymous with end-of-life care, while hospice care is for people who are expected to live <6 months. The main goal of palliative care is to help patients and caregivers have a higher quality of life, often while getting treatment, and/or working toward recovery. This can mean pain relief regimens, in-home visits from CNAs, occupational therapy, and more.

      From the Mayo Clinic, “Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on providing patients relief from pain and other symptoms of a serious illness, no matter the diagnosis or stage of disease. Palliative care teams aim to improve the quality of life for both patients and their families.”

      Recently our news team published this article about the PFF’s recommendation for doctors to discuss palliative care earlier in the timeline of a PF diagnosis. How would you feel if your doctor brought this up shortly after your diagnosis? Or, has your doctor already talked to you about palliative care? Did you (like many, including me), think that this was simply a step leading toward hospice care? Let’s talk about this and try to break the stigma!

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