Unlike hospice care, which is focused on a patient’s end-of-life needs, palliative care can be provided at any stage of an illness. It’s designed to improve the quality of life for individuals who are experiencing pain, discomfort, or distress, as well as for their family members who may be providing care. Understanding the benefits of palliative care can help us make informed decisions about our own healthcare needs so we receive the support needed to live our lives to the fullest extent possible.
1. Palliative care focuses on enhancing the quality of life for patients with life-limiting illnesses through specialised medical care.
This approach is centered around specialists who provide medical care to manage pain, symptoms, and any emotional distress caused by illnesses so that patients feel comfortable and supported. Palliative care allows patients to receive the care they need, while also helping them to maintain their dignity and independence. By adopting this approach, many hospitals, hospices, and healthcare providers aim to ensure that patients and their families receive the highest level of support throughout their care journey.
2. This type of care emphasises holistic support, encompassing physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Palliative care prioritises the patient’s overall wellbeing, taking into account their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. As a result, patients who receive this type of care are provided with professional and compassionate assistance from doctors, nurses, chaplains, and other healthcare providers. Ultimately, both palliative and hospice care aim to provide end-of-life care in a manner that is respectful and dignified for patients and their families.
3. Palliative care can be provided in conjunction with curative treatments and can help manage symptoms, such as pain and nausea.
Where curative care works to cure an illness or disease, palliative care serves to relieve symptoms such as pain, nausea, and loss of appetite, and can be provided alongside curative treatments. Hospice care services also integrate palliative care to ensure that patients maintain optimal comfort levels and a better quality of life. More and more people are choosing palliative care as their preferred end-of-life care option for its comprehensive and longer-term approach towards addressing both physical and emotional needs. With palliative care, patients have access to interdisciplinary teams of medical professionals, specialists, and caregivers who work together to provide personalised care that puts their needs first.
4. A team of healthcare professionals typically provides palliative care, including doctors, nurses, social workers, and spiritual counsellors.
This team will be dedicated to providing palliative care that meets the needs of the patient both physically and emotionally. Palliative care is more than just medical treatment — it’s about creating a comfortable and peaceful environment that allows patients to focus on enjoying the time they have left. It can also be about ensuring that the patient’s spiritual needs are met, providing support to families and loved ones in the process. The healthcare professionals that make up such teams are knowledgeable, compassionate, and committed to offering the very best care possible.
5. Palliative care aims to provide education, guidance, and emotional support to both patients and their loved ones during challenging times.
Palliative care is not just about treating the physical symptoms, but also helping patients and their families navigate the emotional and spiritual aspects of their journey. With the support of a palliative care team, patients and their loved ones can feel more empowered to make decisions and navigate the challenges that come with a serious illness. Beyond medical treatment, palliative care offers a compassionate approach to care that focuses on the well-being of everyone involved. Want to know more about palliative care? Click here to read more.
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