Palliative Care Program

Palliative care supports people facing serious illness. Our palliative treatment team focuses on your comfort and supports you and your family during this difficult time. Our approach is to

  • Help you get more comfortable by actively treating your pain and distress
  • Understand and help you reach your goals, such as spending meaningful time with your family and regaining your quality of life
  • Communicate clearly with you, your family and your doctors to reduce stress
  • Help coordinate your care

Our Guiding Principle

Our guiding principle is to provide you with the best quality, most compassionate care possible. We welcome your questions and concerns.

Many people are unfamiliar with the term “palliative care,” or confuse it with hospice care. Some common questions about our palliative care program are answered below to help clear up misconceptions and more accurately describe our work:

Is palliative care the same as hospice care?

No. Our palliative care doctors and supporting staff treat people with serious illness. It is provided along with active or curative treatment for months to years. Hospice treats people with terminal illnesses who have finished their active treatment.

Why does palliative treatment work?

Palliative care works because we focus on the causes and treatment of your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual pain. Examples of the different types of pain include:

  • Physical: Pain, breathing difficulty, nausea or poor appetite
  • Emotional: Anxiety, sadness, fear or grief
  • Social: Isolation or family stress
  • Spiritual: Doubt, hopelessness or a crisis in your faith

Do I wait until I am very ill to start palliative care?

No. It is very important to get maximum support soon after you are diagnosed with a serious illness. Studies show that people actually live longer and have a better quality of life if they get palliative treatment along with standard medical care from the start of their illness.

Who will help me?

Your Palliative Care team includes a physician, nurse, social worker, and possibly an occupational therapist or physical therapist.

Making Choices

VIDEO: Massachusetts MOLST Stories: “A way to make choices about your medical care.”

Patients, family members, health professionals, clergy and others share their personal thoughts and stories about the value of MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) – for patients themselves – and for the people and health professionals who care for them.

More about MOLST: Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment


Cooley Dickinson Hospital

CONTACT 413-582-2441

Location & Directions Cooley Dickinson Hospital
30 Locust Street
Northampton, MA 01061
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Palliative Home Care

CONTACT 413-584-1060

Location & Directions Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice program
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