November 10, 2020

How to Get Palliative Care

Interested in getting palliative care for you or a loved one? Learn how.

The first step to receiving palliative care is to talk to your primary care physician or Landmark provider. He/she will be able to refer you to a palliative care provider or team if it is appropriate.


What to discuss with your provider

  • Talk to your provider about your serious illness and any additional issues related to your social situation, mental or behavioral health, or spiritual concerns.
  • Tell your provider that you are interested in considering palliative care treatment and ask if they believe that it would be a good fit for you.
  • Share your goals with your provider. Explain what quality of life looks like for you. This may include preferences on life-sustaining treatments, other treatments you are willing to have, and place of preferred care (hospital, home, or nursing home).
  • Share what brings you joy like spending time with loved ones or wanting to remain active so that your provider can work with you to improve your quality of life, which may include referral to palliative care services.
  • If you have a living will or healthcare proxy completed, share it with your provider.
  • To wrap up your discussion, ask your physician for a referral to receive palliative care.


How to Get Palliative Care


Advocating for referrals

Most providers are supportive of palliative care for their patients since studies show that palliative care improves patient satisfaction and quality of life. However, if your physician hesitates to make a referral, ask for an explanation. It is rare that a physician will not make a referral, but it is important to advocate for yourself and explain how you believe palliative care will benefit you.

Want to learn more about palliative care? Read our blog, What is Palliative Care?



If you are not a Landmark patient, here are resources that can help you find palliative care in your area: