Palliative care has become a more common and accepted type of care for someone who has a terminal illness or condition. Coping with a loved one’s terminal condition is undeniably difficult, but if you have additional support coming from palliative care, the situation can be easier to bear. But even if you have heard of palliative care, what do you really know about it? What exactly is palliative care, and how can it benefit your loved one and your family? Here’s what you should understand about palliative care and its true benefits.
What it is
Palliative care can also be referred to as supportive care, and it is care given to a person who has a serious medical illness or condition. Palliative care provides both medical care and its related treatment to people who have a terminal illness and allows a person to still benefit from a good quality of life despite their condition. Professionals in healthcare who specialise in palliative care will seek to provide the person with relief from anxiety, pain, and fear, and they will also take charge of the management of the disease. The person’s wishes are taken into consideration and shared with their loved ones, and extra support is offered to relieve family members and friends of the burden.
When it comes to patients and their families, palliative care has one essential goal: to relieve and prevent suffering as well as to support and provide the best quality of life under the circumstances. This support is extended to both the patient and their loved ones, regardless of the disease’s stage or the requirement for other forms of therapy.
How it is provided
Palliative care focuses on care for the patient, of course, but it also centres on care for the family members in the form of emotional and mental support. Palliative care can be given to anyone at any age. For instance, someone who has cancer can receive care and treatment for pain and the loss of appetite related to medical treatment, and someone who has Alzheimer’s can be provided care for sleeplessness, anxiety, and so on. Palliative care can be offered in a medical facility such as a hospital, but it can also be offered at a care centre or facility or at home. Palliative care at home has, in fact, become an increasingly common alternative to palliative care in hospital simply because many patients prefer staying in their own familiar, well-loved environment where they can also receive visits from friends and family members at any time.
Palliative care is often offered for some common conditions, including cancer, kidney or liver failure, congestive heart failure, COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, injuries to the spinal cord, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, and more.