Palliative Care
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.

More about this service

Location and contact information

Annapolis Valley Palliative Care
Phone: 902-542-6303    
Fax: 902-542-6607      

Antigonish/St. Martha’s Palliative Care
Phone: 902-867-4500  ext 4419
Fax:  902-867-4242
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

Eastern Shore Memorial Palliative Care
Phone: 902- 366-2794 – ext 2249
Fax: 902- 366-2740

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

Guysborough, Antigonish and Richmond Counties and the southern portion of Inverness County
St. Martha’s Palliative care  
Phone: 902- 867-4500  ext 4406 or ext 4296
Fax:  902- 867-4242

Halifax area (not including IWK Health Centre) and West Hants  Palliative Care 
* The office at Dartmouth General Hospital has moved to room 1512 during renovations
office - (902)-473-2132

*You can also reach these individual services directly:

  • Palliative Care Community Consultation – serving patients at home via outpatient clinics located throughout Halifax County and West Hants or in their homes in collaboration with community agencies and primary care physicians:  Fax: 902-425-6778
  • Palliative Care Inpatient Consultation – serving inpatients and clinical teams at QEII, and DGH facilities: * This office has moved to room 1512 during renovations Fax: 902-473-3103
  • Palliative Care Inpatient Unit – 10 bed inpatient Unit serving patients for symptom management, and end of life:  Phone: 902-473-3119
  • Bereavement Services – Bereavement Coordinator:  Phone: 902-473-1622
  • Palliative Care Volunteer Services – Volunteer Coordinator:  Phone: 902-219-1856

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

South Shore Area Palliative Care
Phone: (902) 634-7369
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

How do I access services?

Family physicians and frontline 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. 

Resources for patients and families

Resources for health care professionals