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Palliative Care in Massachusetts for Adults and Children

Palliative Care with Notre Dame At Home improves quality of life for both you and your family. In the compassionate spirit of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Notre Dame Health Care’s Palliative team fosters a deep understanding of life’s journey, ensuring those who need Palliative Care can receive the support they need whether in their home, an Assisted Living community, or wherever they may call home.


What is Palliative Care?

Pronounced pal-lee-uh-tive, Palliative Care is a specialized medical care that provides relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious or chronic illness. The goal is to improve the quality of life for both you and your family.

Our Palliative Care nurse practitioners are specially trained to work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate for anyone at any age and at  any stage in a serious illness or chronic illness. It can also be provided with many curative treatments.


Nurse helping a patient

With Palliative Care at Notre Dame, you can expect:

  • Improved ability to carry on with daily life, enjoying activities with grandchildren, learning, and maintaining your hobbies and passions as much as possible
  • Relief from symptoms including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, numbness, problems with sleep, and much more
  • Improved ability to tolerate medical treatments and the side effects of the disease
  • In-depth communication with you and your family about your goals,  concerns, and  treatment options – and how to match your goals with those options
  • Coordination of care among all your health care providers
  • Nurse practitioners who work with you and your care team

To view our Notice of Privacy Practices, please click here.

Our Palliative Care Programs

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Adult Palliative Care

Notre Dame Adult Palliative Care aims to improve the quality of life for patients, and their families, who are facing issues associated with or are living with a serious illness.

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Pediatric Palliative Care

Notre Dame Health Care’s Pediatric Palliative Care program (Pedi Pals) has been caring for children with life-limiting illnesses since 2012, with the goal of improving quality of life.

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Perinatal Palliative Care

The Notre Dame Perinatal Palliative Care Program, part of Pedi Pals, assists the needs of a family whose lives have been touched by the tragic death of a baby through pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or death during the first few months of life.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Palliative Care

Patients must have a serious or life-limiting illness (cancer, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary disease, liver disease, renal disease, neurological disease, or HIV/AIDS, and at least one of the following symptoms that impact quality of life or symptom management, including:

  • Pain
  • Dyspnea/cough
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Delirium
  • Nausea/vomiting/anorexia
  • Limited social support
  • Medication non-adherence
  • Frequent ED visits/hospital admissions

Please contact our care team to find out if you are eligible.

Palliative Care can occur at the same time as all other treatments for your illness.

Our program features palliative home care. This means our Palliative Care is offered in personal homes, other nursing facilities, Assisted Living facilities, or wherever patients call home.

Yes, anyone can request a screening or make a referral.

We take most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B for eligible individuals, to cover Palliative Care.

Our Palliative Care team will work in collaboration with your primary care and specialty care physicians.

When you contact us, the types of questions we’ll ask you include:

  • What prompted you to call about Palliative Care services today?
  • Are you currently being treated for a serious or life-limiting illness?
  • What has the individual’s health been like over the last 12 months?
Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Palliative Care (Pedi Pals)

A child must be 18 years old or younger and must live in Massachusetts to receive Pediatric Palliative Care Network services. A physician must state that the child has been diagnosed with an illness that could limit normal life expectancy, such as advanced or progressive cancer, major organ failures, HIV, cystic fibrosis, progressive genetic, neurological or metabolic disorders, or severe cerebral palsy. There are no income limits or citizenship requirements.

Yes. The Pedi Pals team will work in collaboration with your child’s medical providers.

Referrals may be made directly by a family, by the child’s physician, nurse, or other health care professional, or by others who work with the family.

For more information, please call Pedi Pals Program at 508-852-5505.

We provide:

  • Nurse case management
  • Social work and psychsocial assessments
  • Spiritual care and counseling for the patient and other family members
  • Volunteer support
  • Respite care
  • Complementary therapies such as child-life services and music, massage, and art therapies
  • Access to 24/7 on-call services
  • Bereavement care for family members
For more information, or to learn more, please reach out.
Our Care Team
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