About Palliative Care

Palliative care is supportive care for people with serious illnesses. It seeks to improve quality of life by easing pain and addressing the patient’s emotional, social and spiritual needs. At Mercy Palliative Care – Fort Smith, we are committed to helping patients and families cope during this challenging time.

What can you expect from palliative care?

  • Improved management of pain and symptoms (e.g., fatigue, shortness of breath)
  • Spiritual care that respects your cultural beliefs
  • Ongoing communication and care coordination
  • Help reviewing your goals for care, including advance planning when appropriate
  • Emotional support

How is palliative care different from hospice?

Palliative care can help anyone at any stage of a serious illness, even during aggressive treatment. Hospice may be recommended for:

  • Patients with a life-limiting illness of 6 months or less
  • Patients and families preferring comfort and symptom control rather than curative treatment
  • Patients and families choosing no extreme measures to sustain life


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