You may have already heard about palliative care but are not quite sure what it is or, more importantly, how it can benefit your loved one who has a terminal illness. First of all, palliative care’s goal is to assess and treat pain as well as other issues associated with the condition and address psychosocial, physical, and spiritual aspects as well, not just for the patient, but also for their family.
What it really offers
In layman’s terms, what is palliative care really all about? Yes, it is care that is provided in a person’s final phase or stage of life. But it is also aimed at helping a person live with dignity and live with a good quality of life even with a terminal illness. In some cases, palliative care can benefit someone at the onset of a medical diagnosis, or it can be quite useful at different stages of a condition or illness. Palliative care is made up of different elements, and these elements include the management of symptoms and pain as well as support and advice to those who are caring for the person. Palliative care makes sure that the person is kept as comfortable as possible as well.
Palliative care can be provided by an array of professionals in healthcare, and all these professionals have a different set of skills. These professionals include physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, speech and occupational therapists, psychologists, volunteers, and caregivers, especially those who are trained at providing palliative care at home.
The benefits of palliative care
The most obvious benefit of palliative care is that it can provide a person with a terminal, long-term, or serious illness with a certain dignity and quality of life. Palliative care is designed to address symptoms that include physical symptoms, emotional symptoms, spiritual symptoms, or social symptoms.
Palliative care is often designed with the individual patients’ precise needs in mind, and this makes the services associated with palliative care varied and different for each patient. But some general benefits include relief from pain as well as other symptoms such as shortness of breath or nausea, access to resources that may include equipment required for care at home, and assistance to members of the family in order for everyone to come together and discuss certain sensitive or delicate issues or concerns.
Palliative care can also offer additional links to support services, such as financial support and home care, and it offers support for social, spiritual, and emotional concerns. Palliative care often comes with counselling and support for grief as well.
Who is it for?
Palliative care is for anyone who has been diagnosed with a serious or terminal illness. It often provides assistance to people who have been diagnosed with cancer, end-stage lung or kidney disease, motor neurone diseases, congestive heart failure, and so on. The ultimate goal of palliative care is to help patients manage their pain and symptoms as well as improve their life quality in the remaining time they have.