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.
False or distorted sensory experiences (sights, sounds or touch) that are interpreted as real.
A document that outlines treatment decisions a patient wants made if he or she is unable to communicate or make decisions in the future. See Advance care plan.
A higher force, power or energy that represents the spiritual dimension giving meaning to our lives and the world around us. It may represent God, Allah, Creator or Universal Truth, as found in established faiths, or it may refer to an individual's sense of the connection between us and the universe.
A caregiving facility that provides coordinated, multi-disciplinary care for people living with terminal illnesses and for their families and caregivers. “Hospice care” is used interchangeably with “palliative care” to describe an approach to care or a community program providing services with such an approach.
Low levels of oxygen in the body.
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.