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Palliative Care

Palliative care enhances the quality of life of people with a life-limiting illness. It does this by preventing and relieving suffering.

In addition to helping the patient, palliative care helps a family cope during a family member’s illness and death, and during the grief process. 
Palliative care may include:

  • Help with decisions about treatments
  • Expert medical care to help with pain and other symptoms at home or in hospital
  • End-of-life care
  • Social, psychological, emotional and spiritual support
  • Occupational therapy, physiotherapy and social work
  • Music therapy
  • Support for family, friends and caregivers
  • Trained volunteers to visit with patients
  • Information about financial, legal and other services
  • Bereavement support

Many people think that palliative care is only provided in the last weeks and months of life, when curative treatments are no longer available. A palliative approach to care can help people early in their illness. It can start at diagnosis, when treatments are taking place and there may still be many months and years left to live.

Palliative care is not necessarily provided by a team that only becomes involved at the end of your life. It is ideally provided by the people who know patients the most working together with experts when they are needed.

How do I access services?

Family physicians and front-line care providers, including care co-ordinators, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and spiritual care providers, all play a role in providing palliative care.

These providers can access support from a palliative care team, providers who specialize in complex care planning and symptom management. Their support can complement the care that patients receive from their primary care provider and other members of the care team, but is not meant to replace it.

Contacts by region:

Annapolis Valley Palliative Care 
Phone: 902-542-6303     
Fax: 902-542-6607      
  
Cape Breton County, Northern and Central Inverness County and Victoria County 
Phone: 902-567-7846     
Fax: 902-567-7962       
  
Colchester County and Municipality of East Hants Palliative Care 
Phone: 902-896-2612     
Fax: 902-896-2608 
  
Cumberland County Palliative Care 
Phone: 902-667-5400 ext 6344 
Fax: 902-667-1012 
  
Digby, Shelburne and Yarmouth Counties Palliative Care 
Yarmouth : Phone: 902-749-4481 
                       Fax: 902 749 1735 
Digby:  902-245-1304 
Shelburne : Phone:(902) 875 4508

Guysborough Memorial Palliative Care 
Phone: 902- 533-3702 – ext 3230 
Fax: 902- 533- 4066

Guysborough, Antigonish and Richmond Counties and Southern Inverness Counties 
Phone: 902-863-2830 ext. 4419 or 4566
Fax: 902-867-3777
Email: pallcarereferralsez-gasha@nshealth.ca

Halifax Regional Municipality (not including IWK Health Centre)

Pictou County Palliative Care 
Phone: 902-752-7600 x4190/2022  
Fax: 902-755-7315

South Shore Area Palliative Care 
Phone: 902-634-7529 
Fax: (902) 527-5413

St. Mary's Memorial Palliative Care 
Phone: 902- 522-2882 ext 240 
Fax: 902- 522-2556

Strait Richmond Palliative Care 
Phone: 902- 625-7211 
Fax: 902- 625-2202

Tri-facilities (Eastern Shore / Musquodoboit Harbour / Middle Musquodoboit)
Phone: 902-889-4185
Fax: 902-425-6778

West Hants
Phone: 902-792-2255
Fax: 902-425-6778

Looking for information on hospice care?

You can find local supports in your area here.

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