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What is Palliative Care?

Posted by Linda Ward on June 20, 2017 at 6:24 AM

379x284.jpgIf you are living with a chronic illness, palliative care can help with maintaining stability, managing pain and symptoms, and giving you back control of your life. A chronic illness doesn’t have to keep you down; palliative care helps you maintain your freedom and quality of life.

So you have heard about palliative care, but are unsure of what it is. Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious and chronic illnesses. It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

This method of "comfort care" is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness. Plus, it can be provided along with curative treatment.

If you are considering looking into palliative treatments, but need to know more, below is some information that can help you to decide if palliative care is right for you. There are many benefits of palliative care (comfort care) for both patients and their families:

  • Pain and symptom control: Your care team identifies sources of pain and discomfort. These may include problems with breathing, fatigue, depression, bowel/bladder or insomnia. The team will provide treatments that can offer relief, including medication, along with massage therapy or relaxation techniques.
  • Communication and coordination: Palliative care teams are extremely good communicators. They put great importance on communication between you, your family and your doctors in order to ensure that your needs are fully met. These include establishing goals for your care, help with decision-making and coordination of care. Your teams also can help families develop advance care plans, including healthcare directives.
  • Emotional support: Palliative care focuses on the entire person, not just the illness. The team members caring for you will address any social, psychological, emotional or spiritual needs. During the initial consult, the palliative care team member goalis improve patient satisfaction.
  • Family/caregiver support: Caregivers bear a great deal of stress too, so the palliative care team supports them as well. This focused attention helps ease some of the strain and can help you with your decision-making.

If you believe that you or a loved one could benefit from palliative care services, contact Pasco Palliative Care today to set up a consultation with our team of experts. We can create a customized plan of care to help you live better every day.

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Topics: palliative, General Information

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