Palliative care is a term which has been widely used for years, but the term sometimes has a different implication for some of us. Some individuals have the impression that giving a loved one palliative care means that they are essentially ‘giving up’ on a person’s life. But this isn’t true – far from it. Palliative care has actually become an increasingly common form of care for those who have a terminal illness, as it enables that person to benefit from expert care whilst going through a truly difficult time, and, more importantly, it enables a person to cope with treatment, pain, and discomfort. The beauty of palliative care is that it can be given in the comfort of one’s home as well, and it helps the patient’s loved ones deal with the situation in a better way. Here’s your complete guide to palliative care – and its real benefits.
What is it?
If someone receives counseling or a massage when they are ill or suffering from a certain condition such as cancer, they are receiving palliative care. If someone undergoes chemotherapy or surgery in order to address a certain condition, they are receiving curative care. This is the main difference between palliative care and curative care – palliative care is focused on providing patients with care and relief through physical, social, psychological, or even spiritual support. Palliative care is designed to treat those who are suffering from illnesses such as congestive heart failure, kidney failure, COPD, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and so on.
Palliative care experts
Palliative care experts are comprised of doctors, nurses, and a specific palliative care team who, along with a professional caregiver, come up with a care plan based expressly on the patient’s unique circumstances. But palliative care experts are not just comprised of medical and caregiving professionals – they can also be comprised of social workers, music therapists, chaplains, counselors, and more. The entire team will work closely together to provide care to someone who has a serious or terminal condition, with a goal of giving relief, comfort, and mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual support.
The benefits of palliative care, especially palliative care at home, are immense. It can help a patient deal with depression and anxiety, and it can help patients cope with physical pain and discomfort as well. This is especially true for palliative care which is given at home, as it eliminates problematic and stressful visits to the hospital and it provides both the patient and his or her loved ones the privacy and the quiet, peaceful time they need. Palliative care also helps patients and their families when it comes to dealing with healthcare (and requirements from the healthcare system), and it helps ease the burden of families during a truly difficult and challenging time.