Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Must-Know Points About Palliative Care

Palliative care refers to highly specialized medical care that is used for elderly individuals who are facing a serious illness. This method of care giving is committed to providing relief from pain for these seniors, regardless of their diagnosis. Ultimately, palliative care is about boosting an elderly loved one’s quality of life, keeping them comfortable and at peace. Palliative care is provided by a team of highly trained home care professionals, and can also include treatment from doctors, nurses, massage therapists, nutritionists, religious figures, pharmacists, and others. These individuals offer support and care for elderly individuals and their family members.

Some common illnesses that may require palliative care include:

  • Cardiac disease like congestive heart failure
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

The goal of this kind of eldercare is to eliminate unpleasant symptoms like:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue

Together, the palliative care team provides expert pain management, assistance navigating the healthcare system, and emotional and spiritual support for a senior and their family.

What is the difference between palliative care and hospice care?

Though hospice care and palliative care share many similarities, they are also quite different. For instance, palliative care is typically administered in a hospital, extended care facility, or nursing home. Hospice care, on the other hand, usually takes place at home. Hospice care is typically reserved for a senior who has been deemed terminal or is thought to be within six months of their death. Palliative care has no time restrictions, and can be administered at any stage of illness, regardless of whether the elderly individual is terminal or not.

Another major difference between hospice and palliative care comes with the approach to treatment. Most hospice programs focus on comfort instead of prolonging life. However, palliative care does not work off of the assumption that life-prolonging treatments will be avoided. In many cases, palliative care is covered by insurance, whereas hospice treatment may have some policy restrictions.

For elderly individuals who are dealing with a serious illness, palliative care is often a useful tool in order to keep the senior comfortable while allowing the family members to enjoy emotional and spiritual support.

No comments:

Post a Comment