Does Your Loved One Qualify for Palliative Care? A Checklist

A pain-free short trip to the beach to watch the sunset.

A chance for laughing and enjoying favorite activities while at home.

Not having to worry about coordinating care among your health care providers.

These may not be the first things you think about when you hear the words “palliative care,” but they are all vital elements of the services we try to provide to our patients who are seeking help with managing chronic and serious diseases.

However, there’s often some confusion over who qualifies for palliative care.

Remember, your loved ones can qualify for palliative care no matter what age, no matter what stage of their serious illness while curative treatment is ongoing.  One in four Americans are struggling with a chronic disease such as COPD, heart disease, dementia, renal disease or diabetes—for those who are 65 and older, that figure increases to three in four. According to an article by the American Heart Association, heart patients should start receiving palliative care at the time of diagnosis.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care improves quality of life by providing comfort and pain management to those of any age who have a serious illness. Our nurse practitioners will visit patients once or twice a month to access their needs. In addition, palliative care:

  • Reduces hospitalizations
  • Results in a shorter hospital stay if an individual is hospitalized
  • Helps coordinate care between health care professionals
  • Provides information on advance directives and planning
  • Works with your physician
  • Provides pain relief
  • Helps control your symptoms

While we serve patients in their homes, we also care for them where they live currently, whether it’s a hospital, an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.

However, there may still be some confusion over who qualifies for palliative care, so we’ve provided this useful checklist.

A checklist to determine if your loved one qualifies for palliative care:

  • Has your loved one been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness?
  • Does this illness require pain management or ongoing care?
  • Does your loved one have physical pain that is not under control?
  • Is your loved one having a difficult time emotionally coping with this illness?
  • Does your loved one find it hard to understand their illness?
  • Does your loved one have advanced care planning in place so someone will know their wishes?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should contact us for a referral and more information on how palliative care can help your loved one.

There is no reason to wait. Palliative care professionals understand that pain and other symptoms affect your loved one’s quality of life and can leave those you love lacking the energy or motivation to pursue the things you enjoy. They also know that the stress of what you’re going through can have a big impact on your family. And they can assist you and your loved ones as you cope with the experience of living with a serious illness

We are the area’s most experienced and trusted palliative care provider

Lower Cape Fear Hospice ranked higher than the national average in all eight categories as rated by caregivers on a hospice quality survey. We’re also the hospice of choice for New Hanover Regional Medical Center and Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center.

“My husband received exceptional care,” said the wife of one of our patients. “Everyone was compassionate, competent, and caring. They were all very professional and reassuring. My questions were answered quickly.”

How do I get started?

Getting started is simple. All you need to do is complete this referral form. We will get in touch with you to determine how we can best serve the one you love.


Since 1980, Lower Cape Fear Hospice has served patients and their families throughout southeastern North Carolina, serving patients where they live – in their homes, hospitals, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. For more information on how to start the conversation about hospice, please call 1-800-733-1476.