New Report on Palliative Care Finds Big Increase in Services Throughout California

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Unlike hospice care, which is typically provided only the last few months of a patient’s life, palliative care is appropriate at any age and stage of an illness, and can be provided along with curative treatments, such as chemotherapy. Photo: iStock

More Californians are participating in palliative care programs, but the need still outpaces the supply, according to a new report.

A mapping project just released by the California Healthcare Foundation found significant progress in the number of programs and participants participating in palliative care services compared to four years ago.

Palliative care is aimed at relieving suffering and providing the best possible quality of life for people facing the pain, symptoms, and stresses of serious illness. Unlike hospice care, which is typically provided only the last few months of a patient’s life, palliative care is appropriate at any age and stage of an illness, and can be provided along with curative treatments, such as chemotherapy, said Jennifer Ballentine, executive director of the CSU Institute for Palliative Care, based at California State University San Marcos.