The goal of providing persons with life-threatening illnesses with palliative care is to enhance the patient’s quality of life overall. It treats the symptoms of living with a chronic illness as well as the stress that comes along with it. Also, it may involve assisting loved ones or caretakers.
Because it is tailored to the specific requirements of each patient, palliative care might look very different from one individual to the next. The following are examples of possible goals that could be included in a care plan:
- reducing the severity of symptoms, including those caused by the treatment itself;
- enhancing one’s comprehension of the illness and the course it takes;
- determining and meeting one’s material and spiritual requirements
- assisting with understanding treatment options, helping with decision-making regarding therapy, and coordinating care
- assistance with coping with feelings and changes associated with the illness
- locating and gaining access to additional resources to provide support
Who is a good candidate for receiving palliative care?
There is no restriction on who can receive palliative care based on age, prognosis, disease stage, or treatment preference; it is open to all patients who are coping with terrible illnesses. It is optimally delivered at an early stage and maintained throughout the illness, together with treatments that either extend or restore life. To put it another way, patients do not have to decide between receiving treatment for their condition and receiving palliative care; rather, they can receive both.
Benefits of Palliative Care
The quality of life, comfort, and resiliency of seriously ill patients and their families are all improved by palliative care. Patients who are very ill have life-threatening illnesses including cancer, organ failure, or dementia that have a detrimental influence on their daily lives or lead to a high rate of cancer patients.
An interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, and chaplains provide palliative care to identify and treat the medical, psychological, social, and spiritual stressors related to serious disease. Primary care doctors, specialists in cancer or the heart, palliative care experts, home health agencies, private businesses, and healthcare institutions can all offer it.
From patient to patient, palliative care might appear very differently. For a cancer patient, for instance, the palliative care team works in conjunction with the cancer specialists to manage the pain brought on by the disease, the side effects of treatment, as well as the anxiety and spiritual suffering that comes with receiving a cancer diagnosis.
Home care workers
The Home care setting works to manage the social isolation caused by missing out on routine activities, the financial stress caused by being unable to work due to illness, and the shortness of breath that makes it difficult to walk to the bathroom for patient with heart failure. For a patient with dementia, the team works with the primary care physician to control the patient’s confusion and agitation while making use of available community resources, such as a home health aide or visiting nurse, to provide the family with a break and support.
This interdisciplinary approach can be offered at any stage of a patient’s sickness and in a variety of medical facilities.
In addition to homeless shelters, it can include long-term care, assisted living, rehabilitation, and correctional facilities.
Taking advantage of pain relief and other palliative care measures
Ask your primary home care settings or a specialist physician for a referral to palliative care if you or a loved one is suffering from a serious disease like cancer etc. If there are no local palliative care options, your doctor might discuss your hospice or palliative care needs with you.
Use this conversation and the services that come from it to:
- Evaluate and treat physical, psychological, social, and spiritual pressures that are not well under control.
- Be aware of your condition, the likely course of it, and the available treatments.
- Examine your concerns, anxieties, aspirations, and values; cultural or religious beliefs that may influence your choice of care or treatment; possible treatments that you might or might not desire; and what your definition of quality of life is.
- Talk about and write down your end-of-life preferences, including the types of medical interventions you do or do not want.
What advantages does palliative care offer?
Palliative care aims to enhance the quality of life for those dealing with serious or terminal illnesses while also providing support for their relatives. The advantages may include:
Support for symptom control.
People with advanced cancer may receive symptom management and pain control assistance from palliative care doctors.
A higher standard of living.
Palliative care recipients with Parkinson’s disease and related diseases scored three points higher on the quality of life scale than those receiving conventional care for their conditions.
Lower chance of depression.
When advanced cancer is first identified, early palliative care is linked to a lower risk of depression.
According to the same analysis, there may be a connection between depression and mortality, which could increase the chance of survival for cancer patients who receive palliative care.
Assistance with decision-making.
To make decisions regarding their care, treatment for their sickness, and support in emotionally coping with the diagnosis, persons diagnosed with a serious illness and their families receive support from palliative care specialists.
Assistance for carers and family members.
Palliative care can involve advice on how to care for a loved one with a serious illness as well as emotional support for family members.
Increased satisfaction among carers.
Patient and carer satisfaction is regularly raised by palliative care.
Patients who suffer from debilitating conditions for an extended period may benefit from receiving palliative care, which is a therapy approach that incorporates many different medical specialties. Also, it may involve assisting loved ones or caretakers.
Palliative care is something you should think about getting if you or a member of your family is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Discuss with a medical professional to learn more about palliative care and how to receive this kind of treatment.
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