Palliative care may make your life — and the lives of those who care for you — considerably easier if you've been diagnosed with a serious, long-term sickness or a life-threatening illness.
Palliative care can be provided in addition to the treatment provided by your primary care physician.
The goal of palliative care is to relieve pain and other distressing symptoms while also fulfilling your emotional, spiritual, and practical needs. In a nutshell, the goal of this new medical specialty is to improve your quality of life, however you define it.
Your palliative care team will work with you to determine and achieve your objectives, which may include symptom alleviation, counselling, spiritual consolation, or anything else that improves your quality of life. Palliative care can also assist you in gaining a better understanding of your treatment choices.
One of palliative care's strengths is its acknowledgment of the human side of disease. "Being acknowledged as a person," "having a choice and being in control," "being linked to family and the world outside," "being spiritually connected," and "physical comfort" are all part of a palliative care.
Palliative care was originally designed for patients who were nearing the end of their lives. However, it has evolved into a medical speciality that focuses on a considerably larger spectrum of serious or life-threatening illnesses in the last decade.
“All individuals have a right to high-quality treatment during serious illness and to a dignified death, free of excessive agony and in accordance with their spiritual and religious convictions,” according to the World Health Organization.
Palliative care is now available to patients with cancer, heart disease, chronic lung disease, AIDS, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and a variety of other serious illnesses.
Symptom control is one of the main objectives of palliative care. Treatments, as well as the condition, can produce symptoms. Chemotherapy medicines, for example, can produce nausea and vomiting. Constipation is also a common side effect of narcotic pain relievers.
Palliative care can help you not only continue on with your everyday life, but also enhance your capacity to undertake or finish medical treatments by giving relief for a variety of ailments.
Palliative care can begin at any point throughout your illness, even before you receive a diagnosis and begin treatment. You don't have to wait until your condition has progressed to an advanced stage or until you're nearing the end of your life to get help. Palliative treatment should be started as soon as possible. Anxiety, sadness, tiredness, and discomfort are all possible side effects of therapy. Palliative care providers are aware of the pressures you and your family are facing and can assist you in coping.
Request a referral to palliative care from your doctor. Palliative care is usually provided in a hospital environment, although it can also be provided at a patient's home, a hospice, or a long-term care facility.