Palliative Care

The extra support you need to improve your quality of life during a difficult time

Palliative care offers specialized care for patients with life-altering illnesses such as:

  • Cancer
  • Heart failure
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Palliative care is available to anyone diagnosed with a serious condition and care can begin at any stage of your illness. When you choose palliative care, you receive a combination of curative and comfort treatments for as long as you need them. You’ll also receive spiritual counseling from a chaplain and education from a social worker on medical, legal and financial options.

Our Approach to Palliative CareSlice

Indiana University Health palliative care is focused exclusively on improving your quality of life while dealing with a serious illness and providing personalized care that is focused on you, not your disease. 

We understand the physical and emotional challenges you are facing and work to relieve your symptoms through medicines, counseling and other therapies. Our physicians, social workers, chaplains and advanced practice nurses are specially trained in palliative care and serve as consultants for your current primary doctors and specialists. 

We support your goals through pain and symptom management, spiritual and psychosocial counseling and assistance in advance care planning. We work closely with you and your family to determine the goals of your treatment. We give you the tools and support you need to make complicated and difficult medical decisions. 

We guide you through the healthcare system, coordinating your care with all appropriate departments in the hospital to ensure you receive the care you feel is best for you. We can also help assist you in making healthcare decisions about advance directives and even plans for end-of-life care.

With years of experience and expertise focused on palliative care, we are here to provide help and support to you and your family.

Our Services

There are many ways we provide you the help you need. Here are some of our treatment options: 

Symptom Management

Improving your quality of life means controlling the symptoms of your life-altering illness. We work with you to find treatment that reduces the severity of your symptoms, but also fits your lifestyle and condition without causing further pain or complications.

Symptom management services include:

  • Medicine therapies: Some medicines reduce the severity or frequency of your symptoms. Our physicians monitor your symptoms closely and change your medicines as necessary.
  • Palliative chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can reduce your pain and other symptoms caused by cancer. Though it may not cure the condition, it could increase your life expectancy and eliminate symptoms for a time.
  • Palliative surgery: Surgical procedures are another possible treatment option to reduce pain or other symptoms associated with your condition. 

Pain Control

Our goal is to alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life. We understand how pain medicines interact with other treatments and will monitor your care closely to ensure you continue to receive pain management as your condition changes.

Spiritual and Psychological Care

Your body isn’t the only part of you that needs attention when you experience a life-limiting illness. Our board-certified chaplains and social workers are specially trained to deliver high-quality, personalized care that relieves both physical and emotional pain. We help you communicate how you feel so you can make sense of your diagnosis, communicate clearly with your loved ones and plan for your future.

The following services are available to help improve your emotional health: 

  • Spiritual counseling: Not all symptoms can be seen. Spiritual counseling improves symptoms such as depression and anxiety while helping you cope with your diagnosis.
  • Counseling: Poor physical health can contribute to increased stress levels and mental health concerns. Counseling can help you adjust and cope with your serious or chronic illness.
  • Funeral planning: Your social worker gives you the resources you need to lay out your final wishes and find financial resources, if needed.

End of Life and Advance Care Planning

We focus on you, not your disease even when it is at advanced stages. We make sure you get the care you want, even if you cannot express your wishes. Our planning services include:

  • Advanced Directives: Advanced directives allow you to designate a healthcare representative who carries out your wishes if you cannot communicate them. These forms may include your decisions on whether to be treated with artificial nutrition, CPR or ventilators.
  • Transition to Hospice: When needed, we provide a seamless transition to IU Health Hospice so you continue receiving high-quality care at home.
  • Funeral planning: Our social workers take you step-by-step through your funeral preferences and help you express these wishes to your loved ones.

Our Approach to Palliative Care

Indiana University Health palliative care is focused exclusively on improving your quality of life while dealing with a serious illness and providing personalized care that is focused on you, not your disease. 

We understand the physical and emotional challenges you are facing and work to relieve your symptoms through medicines, counseling and other therapies. Our physicians, social workers, chaplains and advanced practice nurses are specially trained in palliative care and serve as consultants for your current primary doctors and specialists. 

We support your goals through pain and symptom management, spiritual and psychosocial counseling and assistance in advance care planning. We work closely with you and your family to determine the goals of your treatment. We give you the tools and support you need to make complicated and difficult medical decisions. 

We guide you through the healthcare system, coordinating your care with all appropriate departments in the hospital to ensure you receive the care you feel is best for you. We can also help assist you in making healthcare decisions about advance directives and even plans for end-of-life care.

With years of experience and expertise focused on palliative care, we are here to provide help and support to you and your family.

Our Services

There are many ways we provide you the help you need. Here are some of our treatment options: 

Symptom Management

Improving your quality of life means controlling the symptoms of your life-altering illness. We work with you to find treatment that reduces the severity of your symptoms, but also fits your lifestyle and condition without causing further pain or complications.

Symptom management services include:

  • Medicine therapies: Some medicines reduce the severity or frequency of your symptoms. Our physicians monitor your symptoms closely and change your medicines as necessary.
  • Palliative chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can reduce your pain and other symptoms caused by cancer. Though it may not cure the condition, it could increase your life expectancy and eliminate symptoms for a time.
  • Palliative surgery: Surgical procedures are another possible treatment option to reduce pain or other symptoms associated with your condition. 

Pain Control

Our goal is to alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life. We understand how pain medicines interact with other treatments and will monitor your care closely to ensure you continue to receive pain management as your condition changes.

Spiritual and Psychological Care

Your body isn’t the only part of you that needs attention when you experience a life-limiting illness. Our board-certified chaplains and social workers are specially trained to deliver high-quality, personalized care that relieves both physical and emotional pain. We help you communicate how you feel so you can make sense of your diagnosis, communicate clearly with your loved ones and plan for your future.

The following services are available to help improve your emotional health: 

  • Spiritual counseling: Not all symptoms can be seen. Spiritual counseling improves symptoms such as depression and anxiety while helping you cope with your diagnosis.
  • Counseling: Poor physical health can contribute to increased stress levels and mental health concerns. Counseling can help you adjust and cope with your serious or chronic illness.
  • Funeral planning: Your social worker gives you the resources you need to lay out your final wishes and find financial resources, if needed.

End of Life and Advance Care Planning

We focus on you, not your disease even when it is at advanced stages. We make sure you get the care you want, even if you cannot express your wishes. Our planning services include:

  • Advanced Directives: Advanced directives allow you to designate a healthcare representative who carries out your wishes if you cannot communicate them. These forms may include your decisions on whether to be treated with artificial nutrition, CPR or ventilators.
  • Transition to Hospice: When needed, we provide a seamless transition to IU Health Hospice so you continue receiving high-quality care at home.
  • Funeral planning: Our social workers take you step-by-step through your funeral preferences and help you express these wishes to your loved ones.

Related Services and Conditions for Palliative CareSlice

Related Services and Conditions for Palliative Care

Patient Stories for Palliative CareSlice

Patient Stories for Palliative Care

News and EventsSlice