If you have a loved one who is elderly or sick with a terminal illness, then there will come a point when you may have to consider palliative care for them. This is a decision that may fall on you if you are their caregiver and your loved one is incapable of making the decision. However, if your loved one can make the decision, this is solely on them. No one should try to pressure or force them because it is something that seriously affects the rest of their life no matter how short or long it may be. When a term like palliative care comes up, you may not know what that means or what you need to do next. To help you further understand what this means and so that you can assist your loved one in making this decision, let’s go over the four basics of palliative care.
1. The Definition Is Simple
Palliative care refers to a specialized type of medicine that is offered to people who have reached close to the end of their lives. It is usually offered to those who have a terminal illness or who are suffering from the effects of late stage aging. Essentially, this care will not focus on a cure or treatment toward a cure. Instead, it is designed to make the patient as comfortable as possible by using supportive care and medicine.
2. It Is Designed to Improve Quality of Life
People who are reaching the end of their life could be in serious pain and they may suffer from symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, depression, nausea, digestive upset, and other issues. Palliative care will use different treatments and therapies to ease those symptoms and make the patient more comfortable.
3. Palliative Care Will Be Offered by a Team
As with hospice care, palliative care uses a team of trained professionals to ensure your loved one gets the best treatment possible. Your loved one will have doctors, nurses, social workers, dieticians, and volunteers who will all work together for their comfort.
4. It Isn’t Quite Like Hospice
With hospice care, the services will begin when the patient is expected to have no more than six months to live. With palliative care, it can begin at any time when the patient has a terminal illness or is not responding to some type of treatment. Hospice is a type of palliative care, but it isn’t the only type.
Essentially, palliative care is a decision that people make when medicine and treatments are no longer working. The whole goal of this care is to make them comfortable and at ease. If you would like to learn more about hospice care specifically, then read this article (How Does Hospice Care Work?) that goes over the basics so that you can get a better idea of how it works. You could also read this article (What Is Hospice and What to Expect from It). It will discuss what you can expect when your loved one begins hospice care. The more you know, the more you will better understand what will be happening soon.
Tags: Hospice care