The Palliative Care services of Spectrum Home Health and Hospice Care offers specialized health care for people with serious illness and their families. It’s a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to meet the unique needs of patients with life-threatening or life-shortening illnesses, chronic illness, or issues related to end of life. The main focus is addressing issues related to improving quality of life.

Palliative care provides patients with relief from symptoms, pain, and stress that accompany a serious illness, whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family, empowering them to make more informed and personalized decision about care options. Studies have shown that people with chronic illness who receive palliative care have reduced symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, depression and nausea. They are also more satisfied with their care.

Our Palliative Care program is one of a wide range of lifecare services JGS Lifecare has to offer. The program was funded by longtime JGS Lifecare supporter Frances B. Cohen, and supports JGS Lifecare’s mission of improving the physical, spiritual and emotional health of individuals and families.


How does Palliative Care differ from Hospice Care?

Palliative Care services can be provided any time in the course of an illness and are not limited by prognosis. In palliative care, comfort focus may be combined with curative therapies. Hospice Care used palliative care principles for patients who have a prognosis of six months or less if their illness follows its usual course, and they have chosen to forego curative therapies as the end of life approaches.

Who might benefit from a Palliative Care referral?

Any patient living with a chronic illness, chronic disease or trauma, such as cancer, COPD, progressive neurologic disease, heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, dementia or other chronic illnesses may benefit from palliative care.  Patients may receive curative life-prolonging therapies and palliative care at the same time.

What are some examples of concern that might lead to a Palliative Care evaluation?

  • Progressive dementia
  • Repeated hospitalizations
  • Resident or family concerns about current medical care or treatment decisions
  • Unrelieved symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, agitation or complex pain
  • Uncertainty about goals of care

What can I expect from a Palliative Care referral?

The team will evaluate both the patient and the family with a focus on:

  • Expert management of difficult to manage symptoms such as: shortness of breath; pain; fatigue; nausea; and suffering
  • Communication regarding complex decision making concerns including: discussion of the goals of care; treatment decisions; advance care planning; and end of life discussions, if appropriate
  • Supportive care for patients and families with unmet cultural, social, spiritual or psychological needs.

Additionally, the Palliative Care Team will:

  • Identify individual goals, preferences and wishes of patients and families
  • Speak with patients’ physicians and other health care providers caring for the resident
  • Review heath care records
  • Provide ongoing family and staff education

How do I request a Palliative Care referral?

Request for referrals can be discussed with the nursing or health care staff caring for a patient at any time.  The team taking care of a patient may also identify reasons to consider a palliative care consult. Family will be contacted about the request for referral.

Is Palliative Care covered by insurance?

Palliative Care is reimbursable under most insurance.

The Frances B. Cohen Fund

A generous grant from Frances B. Cohen fund supports the JGS Lifecare mission of improving the physical, spiritual and emotional health of individuals and families.