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Palliative care is a specialized type of care intended for people with serious and long-term illnesses, such as cancer, dementia, and chronic heart failure. The purpose of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. It can be provided alongside curative medical treatments and delivered by a variety of specialists who form a palliative care team.
Approximately three-quarters of people nearing the end of their lives would benefit from palliative and hospice care; however, only around fourteen percent of people get it. Families are happier with the end-of-life care their loved ones receive through hospices and palliative care specialists. It’s also important to avoid delaying getting this care to maximize the benefits to life quality.
What Is the Goal of Palliative Care?
Supporting and improving a seriously ill person’s medical, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing in order to better their current quality of life are palliative care goals. To meet these goals, the delivery of palliative care varies with the needs of different patients and involves a multidisciplinary approach.
Medical & Physical
Doctors and nurses may address the medical and physical problems caused by illness by administering treatments for pain and other discomforting symptoms and/or side effects from treatments.
Serious and life-threatening illnesses can restrict a patient’s mobility and capacity for physical activity. Palliative carers can improve this aspect of physical wellbeing by safely encouraging patients to walk, sit up, and move in whatever ways they can.
Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual
Strong mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing is key to a better quality of life. This extends beyond the ill person to their loved ones and caregivers, too. This type of support is essential for patients and their families suffering the challenges of severe and life-threatening illnesses.
In palliative care, there are a variety of therapists, councilors, spiritualists, and volunteers that can help: art therapists, a friendly person to talk with, chaplains, and more. In addition, family members/caregivers can receive help and be taught how to provide practical care to their loved ones.
Education and Awareness
Finally, another important palliative care goal is ensuring that a patient and their family are well-equipped to make choices about treatment options. Therefore, another duty of palliative care is to make certain that a patient is properly informed about their illness and options for treatment. And this is done by delivering clinical information in an easier-to-understand, straightforward manner.
How Is Palliative Care Given to a Person Who Is Terminally Sick?
Palliative care can be provided in cases of terminal illness, and transitions are made into hospice care. Where palliative care may be given with curative treatments, hospice care is given to those nearing the end of their life where curative treatments are discontinued. End-of-life care does not have any focus on treating the illness and prolonging life.
What Is the Goal of Hospice Care?
Hospice care goals center on making a patient with terminal illness as comfortable as possible. Goals for end-of-life care are largely the same as for general palliative care, where a hospice team of specialists provides support to a dying person and their loved ones. Similar to palliative care, hospice care centers on the patient and their family having informed consent on how they are treated. This is paramount to avoid distressing situations.
Get Hospice Care for Your Loved Ones
As a state-licensed and Medicare-certified hospice, All American Hospice is dedicated to delivering the highest standard of hospice care. Our team comprises diligent, skilled professionals who have the wellbeing of their patients and loved ones at the very heart of what they do. If you or someone you care for may need our support, please get in touch by phone or email to request a free consultation.