Our glossary explains some of the medical and legal terms used in palliative care. Glossary words are underlined in the Topics and Asked and Answered sections, with definitions appearing when you hover on a word.
A pain reliever and fever reducer often used to treat mild to moderate pain. Acetaminophen can be combined with other pain medications to add to their effectiveness. Available without a prescription. Also known as Tylenol®.
An overwhelming, uncontrollable urge to use medications, alcohol or other substances without any medical need for it. People with addiction continue to seek and use medication compulsively, even in the face of negative health and social consequences.
A document that outlines treatment decisions a patient wants made if he or she is unable to communicate or make decisions in the future. Also called a health care directive or living will.
A process of thinking about and discussing personal values and health care options, and communicating those thoughts and wishes to your health care team and people important to you. It also involves choosing someone to speak for you if you become unable to speak for yourself.
A type of medication used to relieve pain.
A persistent lack of appetite (having no desire to eat). Things that can affect a person’s appetite: illness, medication, medical treatments, pain, constipation or bowel obstruction, mouth sores, and anxiety or depression.
A type of medication used to relieve acid indigestion, heartburn, gas and sour stomach. Available without a prescription.
A type of medication used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Requires a prescription.
Grieving for a future loss. A common emotional response.
A type of medication used to treat people who have seizures. Can also be used to treat burning, tingling, and stabbing (shock-like) pain related to nerve damage. Requires a prescription.
Our team of experts answers your questions about life-threatening illness and loss.
What can I do to support my wife who's dying and let her know she won't be forgotten?
How long can someone live without food and water?
My dad doesn't want to talk about his illness. How can I talk to him about it?
How can I support my husband who's been diagnosed with cancer and is waiting for test results?
When Death is Near - Learn more about changes people may experience in the final days of life.
Health Care Directives - Having a health care directive can ensure treatment decisions are respected.
Considerations for a Home Death - How you can prepare to provide care at home.
Lack of Appetite - What you can do when someone loses interest in food.
A remarkable story of how onehospice volunteer connects withpatients and families throughtheir feet.