What is comfort care?

Comfort care is a type of care that focuses on lowering pain and providing comfort to a person with a serious or long-term (chronic) illness. While a person can get better when receiving comfort care, the overall goal is not to cure their illness, but to improve their quality of life.

There are 2 main types of comfort care: palliative care and hospice care. Palliative care is available to a person who has a serious long-term (chronic) illness and is in pain. A person can begin palliative care at any point during their illness. Hospice care is available to a person in the final stage of an illness, usually with 6 months or less to live.

Two women sit comfortably on the sofa


How do I get started with comfort care?

For tips on how to start comfort care, see How do I get started with palliative care? and How do I get started with hospice care? If you’re looking for information on palliative care for children, see “How do I get started with pediatric palliative care?”

How can I learn more about comfort care?

Online resources to learn more about comfort care:
Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care
U.S. National Institute on Aging
VeryWell Health