Palliative Care

Working to meet the needs of adults at any age with chronic advanced illness

The University of Michigan recognizes that with serious illnesses, patient needs—and those of family and friends—go far beyond the physical to encompass emotional issues, legal issues, issues of faith and relationships, grieving and mourning. Our team of trained palliative care specialists offer comprehensive support for patients and families facing serious illnesses.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is different than the treatment used to help cure you of your illness. The goals of palliative care are to relieve symptoms and enhance the quality of life for patients with advanced illness. Depending on patient needs, palliative care may be used alongside curative treatments.  This approach to care is different from hospice care, which focuses on people in their final weeks or months of life, whereas palliative care covers patients who are facing any serious condition, terminal or not, and can be beneficial during any stage of illness.

Palliative care services at the University of Michigan

The University of Michigan helps patients of all ages with chronic conditions or life-limiting illnesses to enhance their quality of life. Palliative care is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of nurses, physicians, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists and others who offer individualized support for patients and their families. The team focuses on advanced disease management. They work with patients and families to determine specific needs and overall goals of care while helping to navigate the complex medical system. Our specialists help patients of all ages with chronic conditions or life-limiting illnesses to stay independent and symptom-free for as long as possible.

We are able to provide many services, including:

  • Discussion of patient wishes and overall goals of care and development of treatment plans
  • Education for patients and families about palliative care, diseases, and treatment of symptoms
  • Pain and symptom management
  • Physical, occupational or speech therapy
  • Treatment for distressing symptoms, such as anxiety and depression
  • Ongoing support and coordination of care with the primary physician
  • Work with hospice programs, if appropriate, to coordinate care and address questions
  • Assistance with accessing Medicare, Medicaid and other benefits
  • Support for family members experiencing caregiver stress, grief and bereavement
  • Help with difficult decisions often encountered, including:
    • Assigning a durable power of attorney for healthcare
    • Living wills and other advanced directives
    • Decisions about “DNR” or resuscitation
    • Decisions about feeding tubes, artificial nutrition and hydration
    • Decisions about hospice care

Where can I go for Palliatiave Care?

When you are a patient in the hospital, inquiries can be made to Michigan Medicine Health Palliative Care Program by asking your inpatient care team to page us.

To make an outpatient appointment

The University of Michigan has options for our patients interested in palliative and supportive care. We have four Palliative and Supportive Care outpatient clinic locations, listed below, pediatric patients can be seen at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Palliatiave Care Brochure:


Pediatric Patients:

If you’d like more information on Palliative Care, visit: