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.
To administer a medication to reduce a person’s level of awareness or responsiveness, or to calm emotions.
A treatment that uses a medication to reduce a person’s level of awareness or responsiveness, or to calm emotions. This effect can also be a side effect of other treatments.
A type of medication used to relieve mental or physical suffering. The medication calms emotions or reduces a person’s level of awareness or responsiveness.
Unintentional symptom that occurs as a result of a treatment or medication.
Care that is designed to offer a person an opportunity to explore values, ideals, meaning and purpose.
A professional trained to provide spiritual companionship, who enters into the lives of the suffering and the dying. Often referred to as a chaplain in health care settings.
Suffering related to a sense of disconnectedness and alienation from one’s deeper self. A loss of meaning and value.
A religious leader of a faith or cultural community, such as an elder, priest, pastor, rabbi, imam, pandit, sensei, or master.
The core essence of self, reflected in the values and ideals that a person holds most closely. It addresses common human questions such as these:
A type of medication used to shrink swelling and relieve inflammation that can cause pain. Steroids are useful in many pain situations, have anti-nausea properties, may improve appetite and can be used in low doses to alleviate fatigue. They can have side effects that need to be monitored by health care professionals. Requires a prescription. Not to be confused with steroids used to build muscle.
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.